Lab-grown Food for January? 🧪
Bethany Van Delft 0:02
Wait a minute, the holiday cookies disappeared and have been replaced with fiber bars. Who did this? Ugh. Today we're looking into New Year's resolutions. I'm Bethany Van Delft. It's Tuesday, January 4th, and this is the Ten News.
Various Voices 0:20
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Bethany Van Delft 0:28
Are your grownups throwing out the holiday treats and stocking up on kale and bean sprouts? Yep. Have they bought an exercise bike? Maybe they've made a New Year's resolution to eat more plants or to get more exercise. Around 30% of Americans make New Year's resolutions and most people give up on them by January 19th. Some scientists call it quitters day. What's the most popular resolution? Working out! Half of the people who make resolutions want to be more active. But people who join gyms in January have usually entered their memberships by me. So are New Year's resolutions doomed? Not necessarily. Researchers in Sweden discovered that when people have a support network for the resolutions, they can achieve them and make new habits that last a year or more. Excellent. So if you want to help your parents with their goals, you could suggest a family bike ride or a walk around your neighborhood. Or maybe this is the year they'll get you that pool. Many grownups make resolutions to cut back on their meat-eating. Some people even try out a vegan diet in January. They call it Veganuary. But what if we could eat meat without negative impacts on animals or the environment? Here to tell us more is Laine Farber from the Nature Nerds Podcast.
Laine Farber 2:09
How much would you pay for an order of chicken nuggets? $5 $10. How about $500? No way. I know some of you are thinking that's way too much money to spend on nugs. And you're right. That's a hefty price for pieces of chicken. But what if I told you that these nuggets were special? Okay, these nuggets were the product of years of scientific research. What? These nuggets did not come from a chicken who lived on a farm. What does that mean? These nuggets were made of pure science. That's right. Today we're talking about lab-grown meat. Now, most meat comes from animals that live on farms like cows, chickens, and all the other little barnyard cuties who go with oink, oink here and oink, oink there. Lab-grown meat is a different story. As its name suggests, lab-grown meat is grown in a laboratory. Me laboratories are a very interesting place. But let's get one thing clear. There are no cows wearing lab coats or chickens or putting on safety goggles. There are no animals in the laboratory at all. Aw man. Just cells help. Let me explain. Cells are the building blocks of life. All plants and animals are made up of them. Different cells do different jobs inside of an organism. There are blood cells, brain cells, nerve cells, the list goes on and on. One very special type of cell is stem cells. Stem cells are special because they can change in the right conditions. They can become brain cells, nerve cells, or any other specialized cell. Cool. Knowing the power of stem cells, scientists decided to do some experiments. And in 2013, they discovered the recipe for lab-grown meat. So what is the secret recipe? Well, just take one part cow stem cells mix with a slurry of salts, vitamins, sugars, and proteins and let it simmer and a special batch called a bioreactor. Delicious. The science of lab-grown meat has advanced by leaps and bounds since the first glob of beef was produced back in 2013. In addition to beef, scientists can now make Chicken Pork and even fish from stem cells. And a new breakthrough occurred just last month when scientists successfully 3D printed a steak. Yeah, you heard that correctly. They printed a steak. Now the invention of lab-grown meat is pretty spectacular. For the first time in history, humans are able to produce meat without butchering animals. Not only is this good for the animals, but it's also good for our planet. You see, typical meat production produces a lot of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, creating innovative ways to combat climate change is needed for a sustainable future. And scientists theorize that lab-grown meat could be one such innovation. Nice, but right now, lab-based meat is not the perfect solution. Why? Well, it cost you an arm and a leg. The first burger ever made of lab-grown meat cost over a quarter of a million dollars to make. That price has dropped a little and now lab-grown meat is only about $10,000 per pound. Still too pricey for you? Well, some food industry experts say that the price will go down significantly, once large-scale production begins. They claim lab-based meat will be affordable to all and available in grocery stores by the year 2040. On the other hand, some experts suggest that lab-based meat companies are promising more than they can deliver because there isn't enough research. So what's the future of lab-grown meat? Well, we don't know yet. Maybe someday we'll all be eating hamburgers grown in test tubes or maybe not. What we do know is that it's important to continue seeking a more sustainable future. Whether that be lab-grown meat, plant-based meat, or even bugs. Remember to keep an open mind and don't be afraid to sink your teeth into something strange.
Bethany Van Delft 6:41
Thanks, Laine. How do you feel about eating lab-grown food? Is it please, may I have some more? Or is it a no way dude. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voicemail at 877-TEN-NEWS. That's 877- T E N N E W S. Did you know that the first New Year's resolutions were made 4,000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians. Wow, Babylon was in present-day Iraq and the Babylonian New Year began around March when crops were being planted. These ancient people would make promises to their gods hoping for a good harvest and return Wow. Now let's see what else is going on. At long last, the James Webb Telescope successfully launched on Christmas Day from French Guyana in South America. Astronomers hope that this powerful telescope will tell us more about our solar system and the exoplanets that exist beyond it. Some school districts and universities around the country have started the new year online because of the contagious Omicron variant that's been causing an increase in COVID-19 cases everywhere. Over the holidays 1,000s of flights around the world were also canceled because of Omicron. Bummer. Most insects we call millipedes don't actually have 1,000 legs. But biologists in Australia have discovered the first true millipede which lives up to its name. Lucky us. In fact, one of these critters has more than 1300 legs. I would not like to take this millipede shoe shopping. And now...
Various Voices 8:46
What, what, what's the big idea?
Bethany Van Delft 8:49
Trivia on the Ten. Millions of people watched the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration in New York City. Famous musicians performed, the famous ball drop happened and a midnight confetti shower fell down onto everyone gathered in Times Square. But, can you guess how much confetti is used on New Year's Eve in Times Square? Is it a) one ton? b) two tons? Or c) three tons? Did you guess it? The answer is a) one ton of confetti is dropped in Times Square at midnight. Then it takes city workers 12 to 16 hours to clean it all up. That's unbelievable. Seems like forever, but it's probably a lot quicker than it takes some kids to clean their rooms. I'm looking at myself. Time's up. But before we go, here's a quick note for the grownups. Thanks for listening to the Ten News. Look out for our new episodes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and extras on Saturdays. The Ten News is a coproduction of Small But Mighty Media and Next Chapter Podcasts and is distributed by iHeartRadio. The Ten News creative team is still cleaning up confetti and includes Tracey Crooks, Pete Musto, Adam Barnard, Tessa Flannery, and Nathalie Alonso. Laine Farber contributed to this episode. Our production director is Jeremiah Tittle. And our executive producers are Donald Albright and show creator Tracy Leeds Kaplan. I'm Bethany Van Delft and thanks for listening to the Ten News. And now I'm going to go through some laps on my exercycle. Who am I trying to kid? I gotta go kick back on the couch and binge-watch something.