Introducing Meat-Based Plants: The Latest Innovation in Plant-Based Eating

Sophia Rodriguez

South Korean Researchers Develop Hybrid Rice Infused with Beef

South Korean researchers at Yonsei University have developed a new hybrid rice variant that combines rice with cow muscle and fat cells. The meat-infused rice is bright pink in color and aims to offer a sustainable and low-cost source of protein with a smaller carbon footprint than actual beef. The goal is to provide a faster and more efficient way for rice lovers to enjoy a beef bowl.

The Future of Meat Production

To create this unique rice variant, researchers coated each grain of rice in fish gelatin to help meat cells latch on. Next, they inserted cow muscle and fat stem cells into each grain and allowed them to culture in a petri dish. The rice’s porous internal structure mimics the biological scaffolds of meat cells, offering an environment for cells to grow and thrive. The meat cells grow inside and on the surface of the rice grains, taking about 10 days for a finished product that resembles beef sushi.

The team envisions a future where they can eliminate the need for livestock altogether by securing a long-lasting line of cells to source from instead of actual cows. Despite being in the research phase, the team aims to expand the nutritional value and improve the taste, texture, and color of the rice grains. They believe this could one day serve as food relief for famine, military ration, or space food.

Global Efforts to Address Environmental Impact

The creation of hybrid beef rice is a small part of the global endeavor to address the environmental impact of traditional meat production. According to a UN report, livestock intended for slaughter are responsible for a significant percentage of carbon dioxide emissions. Various initiatives focusing on lab-grown meat and alternative protein sources are underway, including cultured chicken nuggets and steaks, as well as the rise of insects as a sustainable protein source.

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By Sophia Rodriguez “TF Eco-Tech”
Sophia Rodriguez is the eco-tech enthusiast of the group. With her academic background in Environmental Science, coupled with a career pivot into sustainable technology, Sophia has dedicated her life to advocating for and reviewing green tech solutions. She is passionate about how technology can be leveraged to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world and often speaks at conferences and panels on this topic.
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