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Fake Meat: The Health Implications of Eating Lab-Grown “Meat”

Thursday, September 7th 2023 10:00am 4 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Understanding lab-created meatless meat and potential health implications of long-term vegan diets

In the era of sustainability and climate change, plant-based diets, including veganism, are growing in popularity. A prominent feature of this dietary trend is the introduction of lab-created meatless meat into our food systems. Concurrently, questions regarding long-term health implications of vegan diets are gaining attention. While a vegan diet offers many health benefits, it’s also associated with certain nutritional challenges. It’s important to note that this article does not aim to discourage veganism but seeks to raise awareness about potential health implications and provide solutions to mitigate them.

Lab-created meatless meat: a leap forward in sustainable food technology

Lab-created meatless meat, also known as cultured meat or cellular agriculture, is produced by growing muscle cells from an animal in nutrient-rich conditions in a laboratory setting. This method, while still in its early stages of commercialization, has potential benefits for animal welfare, the environment, and human health (1).

Researchers have been able to mimic the texture and taste of traditional meat, making these products an appealing alternative for meat lovers looking to reduce their meat consumption for ethical or environmental reasons. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are pioneers in this field, using plant proteins, lab-grown yeast, and other ingredients to mimic the taste and texture of meat (2).

Potential health implications of long-term vegan diets

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that vegan diets can be nutritionally adequate and beneficial for all stages of life, provided they are well-planned (3). However, long-term adherence to vegan diets may come with certain nutritional challenges, predominantly linked to nutrient deficiencies.

1. Vitamin B12

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