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PayPal Co-Founder Backs 3-D Meat Startup

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has reportedly invested upwards of $250,000 into Modern Meadow, a startup dedicated to producing 3-D bioprinted meat for human consumption.

Thiel Foundation representatives are touting 3-D meat printing as “an economic and compassionate solution to a global problem.”

In case you hadn’t heard, meat production is extremely resource intensive, consuming astonishing quantities of energy, land, and water, and contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Modern Meadow co-founder Andras Forgacs summed it up nicely, noting: “if you look at the resource intensity of everything that goes into a hamburger, it is an environmental train wreck.”

Yes, indeed. So the company set out to produce a more environmentally-friendly meat alternative.

The Guardian reports that producing beef in a lab “results in a 96% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to rearing animals, and uses 45% of the energy, 1% of the land and 4% of the water associated with conventional beef production.”

But is 3-D meat really a viable solution? Do you think current meat-eaters will embrace “schmeat” (aka test tube meat)? Can lab-produced meat allay concerns about animal rights and the environmental impacts of meat production? What about the health impacts of eating meat? Tell us what you think!

Image Credit: tarale/Flickr