Survey: Gen Z is not ready to eat lab-grown meat
September 07, 2020
It wasn’t long ago that a U.S.-based study found that 77 percent of Generation Z are just fine with food produced using technology — particularly notable as it related to genetically engineered crops. The findings were a welcome change, as consumer acceptance is the biggest obstacle for the industry’s adoption of further technology. However, the acceptance may have its limitations, as new research has found that, despite having a great concern for the environment and animal welfare, 72 percent of Gen Z were not ready to accept lab-cultured meat (often referred to as “fake meat”).
The research was done at Australia’s University of Sydney and Curtin University and is published Sept. 8 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. About 2 billion people globally are part of Gen Z, so their influence on agricultural and other sectors is not to be taken lightly.
Despite Gen Z’s lack of enthusiasm for the new meat alternative — defined in the survey as a lab-grown meat alternative produced by in-vitro cell cultures of animal cells, instead of from harvested animals — 41 percent said they believe it could be a viable nutritional source because of the need to transition to more sustainable food options and improve animal welfare.
“Our research has found that Generation Z — those aged between 18 and 25 — are concerned about the environment and animal welfare, yet most are not ready to accept cultured meat and view it with disgust,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr Diana Bogueva from the University of Sydney’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Fifty-nine percent of participants were concerned about the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming specifically, however many were not clear on what those impacts were nor did they understand the associated resource depletion. Such impacts are different for different geographic areas around the world, and the U.S. is generally considered the leader in minimizing livestock’s impact and getting the most out of every animal.
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