"Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being." - J. Stanford
The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion.
Wednesday. The Covid home improvement boom is now officially behind us. Home Depot just posted a revenue drop and warned that annual sales would decline in 2023 for the first time in 14 years. It looks like that bathroom remodeling project is going back to being something that lives on a to-do list but never actually gets done. Speaking of things getting done, food tech experts keep making progress in the lab-grown meat space. So is meat from a lab really the optimal solution for the future? Let’s dive in.
The Future of Sustainable Meat
Over the years, meat has become increasingly villainized for its alleged impact on our health and the planet. Some people will argue that red and processed meat leads to various health issues, including cancer and heart disease. However, numerous studies have now debunked this link between meat consumption and chronic disease. Excess carb consumption and insulin resistance seem to be the more significant health issue, but that is not what we are talking about today.
Opponents of meat will also argue that the livestock industry is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. As a result, many people are turning to alternative protein sources, such as plant-based meat substitutes and lab-grown meat, as a way to mitigate these impacts.
We already know that plant-based meat substitutes are no better than animal agriculture, but are lab-grown meats the answer to our environmental problems? According to a new study by researchers at UC Davis, the commercialization process of cultivated meats is potentially far worse for the environment than traditionally produced beef. The study analyzed the environmental impact of "animal cell-based meat" (ACBM) and found that it could produce anywhere from 4 to 25 times more CO2 than beef produced through animal agriculture.
Previous studies had concluded that the environmental impact of lab-grown meats was significantly less than traditionally produced beef. However, the UC Davis researchers argue that these previous studies did not accurately represent the environmental impact of the current technologies being used.
According to UC Davis researchers, the significant environmental impact associated with the purification required for growing lab meat was not fully accounted for in previous studies. They believe that the fossil fuel needed for purified growth components using the current anticipated commercialization process is between 3 and 17 times that of the reported "high" scenario for traditional beef production.
This is not the first time that the potential environmental impact of lab-grown meats has been called into question. The new study may cause a significant ripple of interest and could have a potentially significant impact on the industry if the findings are considered valid by the broader scientific community.
Who would have guessed? Huge factories and labs producing cell-based meat in a petri dish are worse for the environment than cows on pasture — color me surprised.
The key takeaway? I hate to say we told you so, but we kind of told you so. The rush to create lab-grown meat is not the solution to all of our problems. It's time to look at the bigger picture and focus on developing more sustainable ways of producing our food, which includes animal agriculture done right. After all, nature has provided us with everything we need to stay healthy and heal ourselves. It's up to us to use it to our advantage.
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Who Doesn’t Love Snacks?!
It’s no secret — we love snacking in the U.S.
Nearly half of all consumers in the U.S. eat three or more snacks a day, up 8% in the past two years. That might mean chips, a handful of cookies around midday, or even some dried mango slices and some trial mix if you opt for something healthy. No matter what your snacking consists of, we all do it.
The problem is that most snacks — even the “healthy” ones — present an easy way to unknowingly overconsume calories throughout the day, leading to weight gain, elevated blood sugar, and other less-than-ideal health outcomes. Many people don’t even snack when they are necessarily hungry. They snack out of boredom or as a response to stress.
In an ideal world, we should consume 3-4 balanced meals with plenty of protein and fiber to keep us well-satiated until our next meal. Snacking shouldn’t be our default way of getting food in throughout the day.
Balanced meals would help with overall health, better digestion, and stable energy levels throughout the day. Making multiple trips to the pantry and grazing throughout the day is not doing anyone any favors.
Speaking of getting 3-4 balanced meals, here is a sausage and egg casserole recipe packed with protein to start your day. Read more.
It’s not quite summer yet. Here is a delicious spring salad recipe with a bone broth dressing packed with nutrients. Read more.
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