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Whoa! China just signed a $300 million “clean-tech” trade agreement deal that would allow them to import Israel’s lab-grown meat technologies. As of now, there are three Israeli food technology firms, SuperMeatMeat the Future, and Future Meat Technologies working to replace animal-based protein with “clean” meat, which could mean a major leg-up on developing animal-free meat for China.

This is a great sign for lab-grown meat technology and a much needed proactive approach. Israel’s technology economy is considered by some to be second only to Silicon Valley.

It seems like nations are finally starting to wake up and change their views on meat and dairy in the wake of impending challenges to feed the world’s growing population without exhausting our already limited resources. Just last year, the Chinese government released a new set of dietary guidelines that have the potential to see the country’s consumption of meat drop by 50 percent. The Chinese Ministry of Health, the government body responsible for health care services and guidelines for health-related laws and regulations, is urging citizens to limit meat and egg intake to only 200 grams daily (China’s per capita meat and egg consumption total out to around 300 grams per day). With this monumental “clean-tech” deal, we are thrilled to see China spearheading a sustainable solution to factory farming.

Many people don’t realize this, but industrialized animal agriculture is one of the major drivers of global climate change. Considering that The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent, lab-grown meat offers a viable alternative to this destructive industry. Additionally, the factory farming system occupies around half of the world’s arable land and uses a majority of our freshwater resources. Despite the massive inputs to produce cheap meat and dairy, nearly one billion people currently suffer from hunger across the globe. As the population continues to mount to 9.8 billion by 2050, we simply won’t be able to sustain more people eating a diet high in animal products.

Naturally, the first step to building a more sustainable food system starts with consumers eating less meat and dairy – but there is a large percent of the population that will likely never give up their bacon cheeseburgers, which is where lab grown, or “clean” meat, can fill in the gaps.

Bruce Friedrich, head of The Good Food Institute, which works to support the development of meat alternatives, explained that China’s acquisition of Israel’s technology is a ” colossal market opportunity.” Further, he told Quartz, “This could put [lab-made] meat onto the radar of Chinese officials who have the capacity to steer billions of dollars into this technology.”

According to the International Trade Centre, Chinese meat imports were valued at more than $10 billion in 2016, which means that meat alternatives have a massive market to intercede in the country. China also currently imports beef from the U.S., so if they are able to replace their domestic demand for meat with clean meat alternatives, it would not only have a positive impact in China but would also minimize the demand for cheap factory farmed meat in the U.S.

Memphis Meats, a U.S.-based clean meat company recently received $17 million in investments from sources including Cargill, Richard Branson and Bill Gates, so there is a very real possibility that we could see a commercially viable product on the market within the next five to ten years. Hopefully, this additional push from China will help advance this technology and do away with factory farming within our lifetimes.

More on the Future of Meat 

By now, we’re guessing you probably have a lot of questions about how clean meat is being made – and we have some good news, in a recent episode of #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias, Bruce Friedrich, the Executive Director of the Good Food Institute (GFI) and founding partner of New Crop Capital, explains exactly how it can be done.

In the episode, Bruce dives deeper into the research that is being done in the food tech space to make clean meat possible and discusses the specifics related to how companies and scientists are creating plant-based proteins that can perfectly mimic meat.

Image source: Memphis Meats/Facebook

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0 comments on “China Just Signed a Deal That Could Lead to the Import of Israel’s Lab-Grown Meat Technology”

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James Oliver
10 Months Ago

Artificial meat. If it work, will competently change the food industry.

1 Years Ago

If China is giving up meat, WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT ELIMINATING LANGUAGE FROM THE FEDERAL BUDGET TO THAT PROHIBITS HORSE SLAUGHTERING PLANTS TO REOPEN IN THE UNITED STATES TO SELL OVERSEAS TO CHINA, WHO STILL EATS DOGS! They are rounding up America\'s Wild Horses on the Western Plains and are slaughtering them. "as soon as the head if off, it\'s meat" the man said. He NEEDS to reopen his slaughter house so he can make a living killing horses to send their meat to China. So, what is it, meat for China, or no meat for China?

1 Years Ago

Great that factory farming may be done away with one day but we still keep missing the point. Face it, meat is bad for you and we are killing ourselves every day by consuming it. Please read "The China Study". If you are a meat eater I wish you the best of luck as I was one for decades and sometimes it is like being a past smoker and you would like just one more drag but I love like too much to trade it for a burger.

Jovy Jergens
1 Years Ago

This just made my YEAR!

1 Years Ago

"China Just Signed a Deal to Import Israel’s Lab-Grown Meat Technology" GOOD NEWS.
WHEN DOES THIS BECOME EFFECTIVE???????????? 2 MONTHS, 5 YEARS, 10 YEARS????????????????? Please keep us updated. Thank you.

Nicole Loh
15 Sep 2017

The other article i have read before about Bill Gates and others investing in lab grown meat, said it would be up and ready by 2018.
I doubt China would be far behind too.

Jeff Biss
1 Years Ago

Meat is murder, so anything that gets away from raising animals for needless slaughter is very welcome. People do not need it to sustain life or health, so while we don\'t need meat, we need protein and these nonanimal sources will save a lot of lives.

1 Years Ago

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1 Years Ago

I confess I did not read this throughly and that is a long time I completely agree about the dairy BeeZee. Still this is a plan. I don\'t think they consume a lot of milk in China but true, any dairy is bad. So much suffering involved. There has to be a start somewhere though.

1 Years Ago

5 - 10 years?! Is that a JOKE?! 1. DIARY is WORSE than meat industry 2. our planet does NOT have 5 - 10 years... BS are these billionaires truly so dumb?!

14 Sep 2017

Are you people nuts? I have to assume that you are atheist and have never read a Bible..
And don\'t believe in God..Meat and dairy are good for us as are veggies and plants..What is not good is over eating any of these things..Our society has become obese from overeating and the fact that the government is adding so many bad things to our food like GMO\'s that people must take probiotics and have many more allergies than what there were 50 or even 100 years ago..

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