Generation Z not ready to eat lab-grown meat: Study

Sydney, Sep 8 (IANS) Despite having a great concern for the environment and animal welfare, Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2015) are not ready to accept lab-grown meat alternative, say researchers.

The survey published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Nutrition’ found that 72 per cent of Generation Z are not ready to accept cultured meat or a lab-grown meat alternative produced by in-vitro cell cultures of animal cells instead of from slaughtered animals.

However, despite their lack of enthusiasm for the new meat alternative, 41 per cent believe it could be a viable nutritional source because of the need for transition to more sustainable food options and improved animal welfare.

“Our research has found that Generation Z — those aged between 18 and 25 years — are concerned about the environment and animal welfare, yet most are not ready to accept cultured meat and view it with disgust,” said a study lead author Diana Bogueva from the University of Sydney in Australia.

For the study, the researchers collected Generation Z’s opinions on cultured meat via an online survey. At least 227 were randomly asked questions about their demographics, dietary preferences, how they felt about cultured meat and whether they thought it was necessary to accept and consume as well as their preference for different meat alternatives.

According to the researchers, in-vitro meat and other alternatives were important as they can help to reduce greenhouse emissions and lead to better animal welfare conditions. During the survey, the researchers found that 17 per cent of respondents rejected all alternatives, including cultured meat, seeing it as chemically produced and heavily processed.

The findings showed that 11 per cent rejected all alternatives in favour of increased consumption of fruit and vegetables, saying they will stick to a vegetarian diet.

According to the survey, 28 per cent believed cultured meat was acceptable or possibly acceptable if the technology could be mastered. The participants had several concerns relating to cultured meat, including an anticipated taste or disgust, health and safety and whether it was a more sustainable option.

“Generation Z are unsure whether cultured meat is actually more environmentally- sustainable, described by several respondents as potentially ‘resource-consuming’ and not being environmental-friendly,” said Bogueva.

–IANS

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