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posted by janrinok on Friday December 06 2019, @03:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the can-i-have-ketchup-with-that dept.

"A meat-eater with a bicycle is much more environmentally unfriendly than a vegetarian with a Hummer."
--Dr Mark Post

The world's largest food concern, Unilever, has opened a new research lab at the world's most prestigious agricultural university, the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands). Unilever will locate all elements of its foods R&D there. A spokeswoman on Dutch radio stressed plant-based meat alternatives as an important research subject.

Wageningen University has strong credentials in that respect, with the development of shear cell technology.

Shear cell technology strings plant proteins together in tightly controlled fibers, resulting in a meat substitute where texture (fibrousness, bite, mouthfeel) can easily be controlled, and changed at will. This, combined with 3D food printing, offers the possibility of creating multiple meat (substitute) variations in future.

Unilever's food campus is open to startups, innovators and partners. One of the first to have build its own lab on the same grounds is Symrise, an industrial flavours and scents group.

About half of Dutch people call themselves 'flexitarians'. This means that they don't eat meat with their main meal at least three times a week. The proportion of vegetarians is stable, at just under five percent of the Dutch population.

Wageningen researchers believe, however, that feeding 9 billion people with animal meat will not be sustainable for the planet.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday December 06 2019, @04:17PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 06 2019, @04:17PM (#928901) Journal

    The general public would be wholly dissatisfied with extruded "expeller pressed chicken analogue"

    If it is the unpleasant truth, then how about truth in advertising. But then there is Subway Chicken. Also I don't think "the general public" is who is demanding this. As you say this is to satisfy a minority moral superiority complex.

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    The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
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  • (Score: 2) by quietus on Friday December 06 2019, @07:52PM (2 children)

    by quietus (6328) on Friday December 06 2019, @07:52PM (#929084) Journal
    Nicholas Taleb makes a note in the last part of his Incerto trilogy that it is often a [fanatical] minority which really determines what the majority will have to live with. The term 'silent majority' is a concept for a reason. If you want proof of this, check out the meat in your local supermarket: chances are that it has a mark [webstaurantstore.com] indicating either kosher, halal and, increasingly, vegan.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 07 2019, @06:51AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 07 2019, @06:51AM (#929329)

      I ask why I am paying for meat to be halal certified.
      Because 2% of the population is angry about not being able to eat outside their home country unless the process is approved by their religion?

      Sounds insane, doesn't it.

      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Saturday December 07 2019, @10:04AM

        by quietus (6328) on Saturday December 07 2019, @10:04AM (#929352) Journal

        Retail (supermarkets) run at very low profits, around 3 - 6 percent. Missing 2% of your potential market means a lot, while the general consumer doesn't notice (or care).