Can this meat appeal to the consumer?

A renunciation of changing our eating habits

Brigitte Gottiere

Co-founder of the L214 association

The vegan movement is divided on the issue of cultured meat. Some are very favorable because if the researchers find an alternative to the use of fetal bovine serum, it avoids killing animals. Others are hostile to it because it fuels the myth that eating meat is necessary. Most have a mixed opinion. On the one hand, cellular meat promises to solve many problems caused by intensive farming: cruelty to animals, their painful death, environmental nuisances with less greenhouse gas emissions and waste of agricultural land or water … The start-ups in the sector are highlighting their desire to fight against the worst consequences of intensive livestock farming. On the other hand, they illustrate the joke: why make it simple when you can make it complicated?

The alternative to meat exists: it is the plant world. It avoids the problems of animal husbandry, including the development of zoonoses, these diseases which pass from animals to humans and which intensive breeding runs the risk of proliferating. In a way, cellular meat is a renunciation of changing our eating habits and of pursuing ethical, social and environmental issues which require political decisions. We will ask presidential candidates to commit to the ban on intensive farming and industrial fishing. Another objective is linked: to reduce by 50% the consumption of meat, milk, eggs and fish in five years. It is within our reach via incentive policies in particular.

Among the youngest, a potential market

Simon borel

Sociologist and head of the Observatory of the report to quality and ethics in food

In our last Observatory, we asked a question related to synthetic meat to the 4,000 respondents of our representative sample of the French population. For 8% of them, consuming cultured meat was possible if it became necessary to reduce the consumption of animal proteins. For 82%, on the other hand, it was not. It doesn’t seem like much, but in a French market, 8% still represent a few million consumers. If we segment the results by age, the proportion of people who say they are ready to consider this consumption reaches 18% among 18-24 year olds. It is not impossible that one day, if the French feel reassured of the harmlessness and the taste quality of this meat, this small base involves a slightly larger part of the population.

All things considered, this happened for the products based on vegetable proteins initially adopted by vegetarians or vegans, and whose consumption has spread to a much larger part of the population. The fact remains that synthetic meat can put off more than the consumption of vegetables. It appears to be the opposite of the desire for naturalness that is gaining more and more consumers, the rejection of processed food and the desire for food reassurance. But it can meet the expectations of some, in particular the reduction of environmental impacts and better animal welfare. ”


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