It looks like a science fiction movie product, but synthetic meat will soon become a reality. The production in the United States is already planned for 2020 and the various companies that work to ensure the safety of this product are already in operation. We talked about this novelty and its possible repercussions on health with Dr. Elena Maria Abati, a rehabilitation specialist at Humanitas.
The objective of the synthetic meat
What still have to be found are a more attractive name for it and a process that allows lower costs of production to the point of letting it access the food industry market. Synthetic meat, however, is already on the launch pad in the United States and within a few years will be an option on American tables and supermarkets where, as is known, the consumption of meat is very high.
But what exactly is synthetic meat? These are single-celled cultivations that have already been cleared by the U.S. regulatory authorities, a country not unknown to innovative and sometimes questionable food inventions, according to some far from a viewpoint of authenticity and food as intended by Hippocrates.
What do specialists think?
“Our food should be our medicine: our medicine should be our food,” said Dr. Abati. “The intensiveness in breeding that, in the recent years, has resulted in the complete loss of respect for other living beings, as well as in food waste, is not fought with these questionable “findings” but by recovering a “food competence” already present for centuries in many cultures.
“Beyond the Mediterranean and Italian culture in particular, of which we have already talked a lot, there are even more ancient cultures in the East that have a healthy but also “spiritual” view of the food in the philosophy of ‘we are what we eat’, both for body and for mind as well as emotions,” continued the specialist.
As Dr. Abati pointed out, in many ancient cultures the attitude and the relationship with the food are not considered fundamental wrongly, since they are the cause of a good part of the disorders attributable to the food itself.
Also the atmosphere in which the food is prepared as well as the way it is consumed can modify its effects on us: for this reason we talk about the food prepared with serenity rather than the food prepared with nervousness; we pay attention to the proportion between the ingredients, to the cooking, to the positive sensory stimuli that derive both during the preparation, to the presentation at the table (play of colors) and with the stage of consumption at the table.
“From these ancient cultures of faraway countries derives also the suggestion of a food that is in harmony with the environment and with its creatures – the doctor continued and concluded -: consumption of vegetables, an adequate response to health and economic problems arising from the excessive consumption of meat”.
According to Abati it is not necessary to be absolutist, but to begin to consider the opportunity, from the point of view of both diet and the world economy, as well as respect for other creatures, to change certain eating habits. The alternatives to meat exist, and they are not cell cultures but some food “cultures”, one of which is represented by the Italian gastronomy (let’s say enogastronomy), a triumph of fruit, vegetables, legumes, flours, all cooked in an excellent and healthy way.