Singapore has approved the sale of a lab-grown meat product in an effort to secure its food supplies against disease and climate change.
Approve for your dining pleasure<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dd3f57f8baf14e654812d30a309d1f17"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/307gysA18_E?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><a href="https://www.ju.st/en-us" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Eat Just</a>, a company that produces animal-alternative food products, announced the news earlier this week. In what the company is calling a world first, Singapore has given it permission for a small-scale commercial launch of their GOOD Meat brand product line. For the initial run, the cultured chicken meat will be sold as an ingredient in "chicken bites."</p><p>"Singapore has long been a leader in innovation of all kinds, from information technology to biologics to now leading the world in building a healthier, safer food system. I'm sure that our regulatory approval for cultured meat will be the first of many in Singapore and in countries around the globe," Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201201006251/en/Eat-Just-Granted-World%E2%80%99s-First-Regulatory-Approval-for-Cultured-Meat" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">said in a release</a>.</p><p>According to the release, Eat Just underwent an extensive safety review by the Singapore Food Agency. It provided officials "details on the purity, identity and stability of chicken cells during the manufacturing process, as well as a detailed description of the manufacturing process which demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met quality controls and a rigorous food safety monitoring system." It also demonstrated the consistency of its production by running more than 20 cycles in its 1,200-liter bioreactors.</p><p>While Eat Just did not offer details on its propriety process, it likely follows <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24032080-400-accelerating-the-cultured-meat-revolution/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">one similar to other lab-grown meats</a>. It starts with muscle cell samples drawn from a living animal. Technicians then isolate stem cells from the sample and culture them <em>in vitro</em>. These cultured stem cells are then placed in a bioreactor, essentially a fermenter for fleshy cells. The bioreactor contains scaffolding materials to keep the growing tissue from falling apart as well as a growth material—the sugars, salts, and other nutrients the tissue needs to grow. As the cells grow, they begin to differentiate into the muscle, fat, and other cells of meat tissue. Once grown, the tissues are formed into a meat product to be shipped to restaurants and supermarkets.</p>
An abattoir abatement?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg2Mjg5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODg1NDI3N30.AYmFJfWQbPjK-o1IatyFHL-OLjcfXBMmQKYyvz4oT3s/img.jpg?width=980" id="8a82d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="93f824fe4c6f397ab2b65e4665847e71" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="913" data-height="420" />
A graph showing the number of animals slaughtered in the United States per year from 1961–2018.
Credit: Our World in Data<p>Singapore's approval is an important step in support for clean meats—so-called because they don't require animal slaughter and would likely leave a reduced carbon footprint—but hurdles remain before widespread adoption is possible.</p><p>The most glaring is the price. The first lab-grown hamburger was eaten in London in 2013. <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23576143" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">It cost roughly $330,000</a>. As with any new technology, investment, iteration, and improved manufacturing will see the price drop substantially and quickly. For comparison, Eat Just's chicken will be priced equivalent to premium chicken.</p><p>Other hurdles include up-scaling production, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00373-w" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the need for further research</a>, and developing techniques to reliably produce in-demand meats such as fish and beef. Finally, not all countries may be as receptive as Singapore. Countries with large, entrenched meat industries may protect this legacy industry through a protracted and difficult regulatory process. Though, the meat industry itself is investing in lab-grown meat. Tyson Foods, for example, has <a href="https://euromeatnews.com/Article-Tyson-Foods-announces-investment-in-clean-meat/697" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">invested in the food-tech startup Memphis Meats</a>, the company that debuted the world's first beef meatball.</p><p>"I would imagine what will happen is the U.S., Western Europe and others will see what Singapore has been able to do, the rigours of the framework that they put together. And I would imagine that they will try to use it as a template to put their own framework together," <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eat-just-singapore/singapore-approves-sale-of-lab-grown-meat-in-world-first-idUSKBN28C06Z" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Tetrick told Reuter's during an interview</a>.</p><p>Regardless of the challenges, the demand for meat substitutes is present and growing. In 2020, plant-based substitutes like Beyond Meat and Impossible foods <a href="https://bigthink.com/coronavirus/plant-based-meat" target="_self">gained a significant foothold in supermarkets</a> as meat-packing factories became coronavirus hotspots. The looming threat of climate change has also turned people away from meat as animal products. Livestock production is environmentally taxing and leaves <a href="http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/carbon-footprint-factsheet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a much larger carbon footprint</a> than grain and vegetable production. </p><p>Then there's the moral concern of animal cruelty. In 2018 alone, 302 million cows, 656 million turkeys, 1.48 billion pigs, and a gob-smacking 68 billion chickens were <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/animals-slaughtered-for-meat" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">slaughtered for meat worldwide</a>. And those figures do not include chickens killed in dairy or egg production.</p><p>If brought to scale and widely available, clean meats could become serious competitors to traditional meat. <a href="https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/meat-alternatives" target="_self">One report has even predicted</a> that 60 percent of the meat people eat by 2040 won't come from slaughtered animals. It could be just the thing for people looking for a meat substitute but who find tofurkey as distasteful as, well tofurkey.</p>
A study in the hospitality industry shows the importance of design, including during a pandemic.
- Ohio State University researchers found that the right type choice drives up donations in the hospitality industry.
- Warmth-focused versus competence-focused messages were matched with handwritten or machine-written typefaces.
- This research could help restaurants and hotels make targeted design choices as they struggle to survive.
Finances can be a stressor, regardless of tax bracket. Here are tips for making better money decisions.
- Whether you have a lot of money or a lot of debt, it matters how you handle your personal finances. A crucial step when it comes to saving is to reassess your relationship with money and to learn to adopt a broader, more logical point of view.
- In this video, social innovator and activist Vicki Robin, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, and author Bruce Feiler offer advice on achieving financial independence, learning to control your emotions, spending smarter, and teaching children about money.
- It all starts with education and understanding. The more you know about how money works, the better you will be at avoiding mistakes and the easier it will be to take control of your financial circumstances.
What good is a conspiracy theory you can't profit from?
- With over 2,000 items on Amazon and 6,600 items on Etsy, QAnon-related swag is now a big industry.
- Many top QAnon devotees are using this conspiracy theory to promote supplements, t-shirts, and pendants.
- This baseless theory is doing more harm than good to the child victims it purports to help.
The Cult of QAnon - Travis View | The Open Mind<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cec5501eadd206be6b90eff0a6767871"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c5S9CSXo-Oc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Perhaps the most Alex Jonesy of the QAnon cult is <strong>Jordan Sather</strong>, who monetizes his <a href="https://twitter.com/Jordan_Sather_" target="_blank">Twitter account</a> with links to his supplement company, which, par for the course with this industry, makes hefty claims without the necessity of pesky clinical trials. <em>Increase your brain function! Improve exercise performance! Detoxify! Enjoy with a hint of stevia!</em></p><p>If Sather's colloidal silver reminds you too much of huckster-in-chief, David Wolfe, there's an array of shungite (98 percent carbon) pendants that "provide powerful protection against EMFs" (electromagnetic fields). If you're already energetically protected, check out Sather's t-shirt shop, which features a selection of Q-themed swag. If you'd rather throw money at him for pro-Trump propaganda, there's a Patreon link and a tip jar as well. </p><p><strong>Kim Cohen</strong> doesn't record meandering videos about UFOs. Instead, she uses her <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hofitkimcohen/" target="_blank">Instagram platform</a> to showcase the fashion brands that sponsor her as she "jetsets" around the world. Scroll through her stories, however, and you'll find her <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17847236774082158/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Q Shop</a>, where she hawks mugs, iPhone covers, and hoodies—an ironic optic, given her <a href="https://www.glossy.co/beauty/i-love-you-my-beautiful-qanon-when-lifestyle-influencers-also-peddle-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank">views</a> on Black Lives Matter: "It's almost been two weeks, I believe. Yeah. And people are still f***ing doing s**t in the streets. Are you kidding me?" </p><p>Transformational life coach <strong>Bernhard Guenther</strong> writes exceptionally long <a href="https://www.facebook.com/bernhard.guenther/posts/10221759306999497" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">social media posts</a> and <a href="https://veilofreality.com/2020/05/26/prophetic-dreams-visions-and-the-waves-of-change/" target="_blank">essays</a> littered with GOP talking points on QAnon. These posts feed back to his website, where he offers private coaching sessions, webinars, and courses on occult forces. This makes sense, <a href="https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-apocalypse-in-america-the-smell-of-fascism-in-the-pro-trump-qanon-conspiracy-1.6809655" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">given</a> QAnon "followers speculate that Q is a time-traveling shape shifter, an ethereal non-corporeal being who obtains human form only to trick witless NSA officials into divulging sensitive secrets."</p><p>Two young Californians recently <a href="https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/save-the-children-qanon-child-trafficking?fbclid=IwAR0LmYrlR0eveHlt4aZ6smXyekQp1qYAsXYT5AQzuNsTa1XAcSey4tlqGL4" target="_blank">launched</a> <strong>Child Abuse Resistance Education</strong> in the heart of anti-mask fervor, Orange County. While not specifically QAnon-related, they're asking for donations on PayPal despite listing no actual projects on their website. The Q crossover happens in <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDXUnPOhsLJ/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">posts like this</a>, where they accuse the Clintons, Chrissy Teigen, and Ellen DeGeneres of being pedophiles. </p>
Bucharest, Romania, August 10, 2020: People display Qanon messages on cardboards during a political rally.
Photo: M. Moira / Shutterstock<p>Q-adjacent "<a href="https://conspirituality.net/redpilled/" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">wellness influencers</a>" like <strong>David Wolfe</strong> has been peddling trafficking conspiracies using QAnon rhetoric as well. He's called Donald Trump <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBcepKdDkIA&feature=youtu.be&t=305&fbclid=IwAR2p_sXTCApfD0B6ppf8ickMY-iZxf-xOowWkktfXBp9-Rti4bfdIwNNV1U" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">our only hope</a> for breaking up the global pedophile ring—a direct QAnon talking points—while alternately promoting his line of supplements and "superfoods."</p><p>The <strong>Save Our Children Initiative</strong> was founded by a "traveling beauty slayer" and an apparel marketer. Their <a href="https://www.saveourchildreninitiative.com/" target="_blank">website</a> falsely claims that 800,000 children go missing in the United States every year. As foster youth expert Regan Williams <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/qanon-child-abuse" target="_self" rel="dofollow">told me last week</a>, the number is closer to 25,000-29,000, and 94 percent are recovered within four to six weeks. </p><p>Their site <em>also</em> claims 8,000 children go missing each year, on the same exact page. This group is selling t-shirts and hats, as well as accepting donations, although how those donations are used is unknown. The site claims your money will go "to a charitable organization recipient and towards outreach programs for this cause." </p><p>As I <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/anti-vaxx-social-media" target="_self">wrote about previously</a>, ad revenue from targeting anti-vaxxers (and ads directly purchased by anti-vaxx organizations) generate upwards of $1 billion for social media platforms. Similar motives are <a href="https://sfist.com/2020/08/05/despite-bans-qanon-exploding-in-popularity-facebook-google-and-twitter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">driving ad revenue</a> for QAnon-related merchandise, while QAnon video producers are monetizing YouTube by running ads by Nike and Apple during their shows. </p><p>One uncomfortable truth about QAnon is obvious: companies and influencers are using a conspiracy theory that purports to save children for ad money, coaching sessions, and merchandise sales. What good is a conspiracy theory that you can't monetize?</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Affluence could be our real downfall.
A detailed analysis of environmental research has revealed the greatest threat to the world: affluence.