A burger grown in the lab?

Mounting evidence that red meat may be harmful to health—and environmental and ethical concerns around industrial farming practices—has given rise to a number of alternative products, such as plant-based foods that taste like meat. Another option currently in development is cultured meat, which is grown in a lab using cells harmlessly extracted from animals.

While it is too soon to evaluate cultured meat from a nutritional standpoint, Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told WBUR in a November 26, 2018 article that he is curious to see how the industry develops. He also said that cultured meat won’t be enough of a solution to address food sustainability for the growing global population.

In the meantime, Willett recommends choosing healthy protein sources like nuts, soy, and fish instead of red meat. He told WBUR that high consumption of red meat raises the risk of colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and premature death. “That all adds up to a lot of adverse health outcomes,” he said.

Read WBUR article: Have Your Pig And Eat It, Too? A Look At The Future Of Meat

Learn more

Red meat may raise young women’s breast cancer risk (Harvard Chan School news)

Eating more red meat may increase risk of type 2 diabetes (Harvard Chan School news)

Red meat consumption linked to increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality (Harvard Chan School news)