Plant-based diets can free up land for bioenergy and carbon capture

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Plant-Based Diets Could Free Up Enough Land for Bioenergy and Carbon Capture

A study by researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands has calculated that if the world transitioned to a more plant-based diet, enough land could be freed up to make Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) a viable option. Bioenergy (using crops to generate energy) has long been considered a way to address climate change, since crops take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere when they grow. It has been suggested that when the crops are used to produce energy, the resulting carbon dioxide could be permanently stored underground; in this way, the process of generating energy could actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, bioenergy has been criticized as it requires large areas of land and a lot of …

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New report shows 42% of Japanese consumers would try cultivated meat,

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New Report Finds 42% of Japanese Consumers Would Try Cultivated Meat, While 58% Are Not Familiar with Cell-Based Foods

APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture (APAC-SCA) has released a new report revealing that 42% of Japanese consumers are open to trying cultivated meat or seafood products, “as long as they have been proven safe.”  The report Prospect of Cultivated Meat & Seafood in Japan was commissioned by APAC-SCA and analyzed by Akira Igata, Project Lecturer at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo and Director of the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture (JACA). The researchers surveyed 1,000 Japanese consumers in May 2023, aiming to gain insights into their perceptions and behavioral trends related to cultivated meat and seafood.  A strong emphasis on safety The findings show that 44% of respondents considered the presence of Japanese government regulations as the most important factor …

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Australian plant-based meat category sees significant changes

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Australian Plant-Based Meat Category Has 3X More Products Than in 2017

Research by alt protein think tank Food Frontier has indicated that there have been significant changes in the volume and type of products available in the Australian plant-based meat category in recent years. In 2017, major retailers stocked less than five plant-based meat brands made by Australian or New Zealand-based companies; this has now risen to over 30. The number of products in the category has increased threefold, from under 90 to almost 300. As consumers seek more convenient options, products like nuggets, mince, deli slices, and meatballs are becoming increasingly available. Meat alternatives that are suitable for a variety of dishes — such as chunks, strips, and whole cuts — are also becoming more popular, though there are still relatively few of these products …

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Pioneering UK Interdisciplinary Study Will Track Impact of Cultured Meat on Society

Proponents of cultivated meat argue that it has the potential to feed the world sustainably and ethically, thus positively affecting the planet, human well-being, and the welfare of animals. Nevertheless, there are still uncertainties surrounding its large-scale production and the potential wider consequences on society and the environment. To shed light on these questions, a new interdisciplinary study brings together experts from law, sociology, and biochemical engineering to track the impact of cultivated meat on society.  The research, selected for an APEX Award, is funded by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society with support from the Leverhulme Trust. A study with multiple tasks The new interdisciplinary research project aims to identify and mitigate potential risks associated with the broader availability of cell-based …

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Study: Reflecting on Behavioural Nudges Could Reduce Meat Consumption

A study conducted in a German university cafeteria has investigated the potential of behavioural nudges to reduce meat consumption. Nudge theory states that the design of an environment can influence the choices people make. For example, healthier or more ethical foods can be placed in a more visible position, encouraging consumers to choose them over less beneficial foods. However, some studies indicate that nudges alone may not be enough to bring about significant behaviour change. The new study aimed to determine whether adding an extra step to the process, where participants reflect on their feelings after seeing the nudge, could decrease meat consumption. In the first week, the baseline dietary behaviours of 129 students were measured, before a labelling nudge was introduced in the cafeteria …

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Growthwell Foods

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Report Finds Surprising Attitudes to Plant-Based Meat in Southeast Asia

A report commissioned by GFI APAC and conducted by the Good Growth Co. has studied consumer attitudes to plant-based meat in six Southeast Asian countries — Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Unlike in many Western countries, only a small percentage of consumers (21% on average) said they were looking to reduce their meat consumption. In fact, almost a quarter of participants wanted to eat more meat. However, the consumers who ate the most meat were also the most enthusiastic about plant-based alternatives, while those who consumed less meat were more skeptical about plant-based products. This indicates that, unlike in the West, consumers are looking to diversify their protein consumption rather than replace meat. High levels of awareness 44% of participants said they …

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Study: Meat & Dairy Alternatives Have Similar Environmental Benefits to Whole Plant Foods

A study published in the journal Nature Communications has examined the environmental impact of replacing animal-source foods (ASFs) with plant-based alternatives (PBAs) or whole plant foods (WFs). Using Sweden as a model, the study found that diets rich in PBAs could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30–52%, land use by 20–45%, and freshwater use by 14–27%. The greatest benefits were seen with fully vegan diets. When ASFs were replaced with WFs instead of PBAs, the benefits were comparable. The researchers note that a diet rich in PBAs meets most of the updated Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, which were published last year and recommend a mostly plant-based diet. Eating PBAs enhances iron, magnesium, folate, and fiber intake, while decreasing saturated fat consumption. However, three nutrients — vitamin …

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Quorn

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Swedish Researchers Find Consumers Choose Fungi-Based Food for Sustainability and Well-Being Benefits

Swedish researchers conducted a study to examine whether consumers select fungi-based food due to its sustainability advantages. The findings show that engaging with fungi-based food is perceived to contribute to sustainability and is thought to promote glocal (a portmanteau of global and local) well-being. The study argues that as the consumption of fungi-based food continues to grow in popularity, it is essential to understand whether consumers align their choices with personal values related to sustainability. Awareness and knowledge of the benefits of fungi and plant-based food are vital to encourage consumers and influence their food choices, which can contribute to global social, economic, and environmental sustainability, explain the authors.  The research has been funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the …

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microbial protein Formo cheese gratin

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German Consumers Underestimate Climate Impact of Dairy But Are Willing to Try Animal-Free Cheese

A study commissioned by Germany’s LI Food — a state initiative for the food industry in Lower Saxony — has found that consumers often underestimate the climate impact of dairy products. The survey found that while most consumers are now aware of the environmental impact of meat, they believe that cheese is significantly less harmful. In reality, the opposite is sometimes true — Parmesan produces 6.3 CO2e/kg, while pork produces 4.6 CO2e/kg. Most respondents also did not associate cheese production with animal suffering. The study then asked consumers about their openness to alternatives to cheese — specifically, animal-free products made using precision fermentation. While there was a degree of scepticism about food technology, responses were generally positive, especially among consumers who were aware of the …

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UK Vegan Population Estimated to Have Risen by 1.1 Million in a Year

According to research by personal finance comparison site Finder, the UK’s vegan population is now 2.5 million, meaning that 4.7% of adults follow a plant-based diet. This figure has risen by a huge 1.1 million between 2023 and 2024. There are also 3.1 million vegetarians in the UK, making up 5.8% of the population. This figure has slightly decreased since last year, but this may be because some vegetarians have become vegan. 3 million people are pescetarians, consuming fish but no other meat. Furthermore, a huge 6.4 million Brits say they plan to adopt some form of meat-free diet in 2024, with 2 million hoping to become vegan. The research points out that it is unlikely that all will follow through with their intentions, but …

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Happy Cow vegan cities 2024

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HappyCow’s 2024 Top Vegan-Friendly Cities Unveiled

Vegan restaurant and business directory HappyCow releases its annual Top Vegan-Friendly Cities list for 2024. This year’s list is a mix of returning players and new entrants, highlighting some reshuffling due to global economic concerns, resulting in the closure of many restaurants in key cities. The report ranks cities based on a multi-faceted approach, considering not only the number of exclusively vegan restaurants but also the presence of vegan-friendly businesses, their density in each city, and year-over-year growth. Additional qualitative factors include the availability of vegan consumer products, public vegan awareness, and the strength of local vegan communities. Bartek Filipowicz, Head of HappyCow, celebrates the list as a testament to the worldwide progress in vegan cuisine. He notes, “We are thrilled to share HappyCow’s annual …

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QUT analyses the politics of alternative proteins

Dr. Hope Johnson from the QUT School of Law. © QUT

Australian Study Assesses Politics of Alternative Proteins as Regulators Make Moves to Approve Cultivated Meat

In light of Australia’s recent steps towards approving cultivated meat for sale, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have analysed the Senate Inquiry into Definitions of Meat and Other Animal Products to assess the politics of alternative proteins. Led by Dr. Hope Johnson from the QUT School of Law, along with Melbourne Law School Professor Christine Parker and QUT researcher Dr. Brodie Evans, the study notes that many stakeholders were initially concerned that meat alternatives posed a threat to animal agriculture. However, they eventually concluded that alternative proteins were “not necessarily in competition with meat and dairy”. Both industries saw the labelling of meat alternatives as a key issue. The study notes a “lack of consumer complaints about the labelling of meat alternatives …

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Bol Foods veg pot

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Report Predicts Further Consolidation in Plant-Based, Finds Consumers Prefer Products That Do Not Resemble Animal-Based Foods

A report by UK & Ireland law firm Browne Jacobson has found that almost two-fifths (39%) of UK adults are discouraged from buying plant-based products due to their cost. Notably, the firm also states that a third of UK adults report they are less likely to purchase such products if they “resemble animal-based food and half of those who follow a vegan diet (49%) would prefer plant-based foods to differentiate from animal-based products“. 25% of participants said they felt there were fewer plant-based options in supermarkets this year compared to last year, with this figure rising to 43% among vegans. The report cites this as evidence of further consolidation in the plant-based category, claiming that this trend will continue due to the cost-of-living crisis. An …

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Does The Colour Of Packaging Influence Consumer Willingness to Purchase Plant-based Meat Products?

When you’re out buying food, what draws you to a product? Is it the image on the packet? The appearance of the food, if you can see it? Or the colour of the packaging? New research conducted by ProVeg International takes a deep dive into packaging, exploring the psychology of colour for plant-based meat products. The exciting report will reveal the influence of packaging colour on consumer perceptions, and their willingness to engage with meat alternatives. To find out more ahead of publication, ProVeg’s New Food Hub interviewed research lead, Ajsa Spahic, Project Coordinator at ProVeg International. Read on for a sneak preview of a 14-minute interview and uncover the importance of colour nudging for your business. What inspired ProVeg’s focus on packaging and marketing …

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New study uncovers UK Farmers' mixed views on cultivated meat

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Game-Changing or Problematic? Study Uncovers Wide Range of Opinions from UK Farmers on Cultivated Meat

The first phase of a project investigating the views of farmers in the UK on cultivated meat led by teams from the University of Lincoln and Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has revealed complex opinions on the topic. Encouragingly, the study concludes that many farmers see potential opportunities in cultivated meat as a “game-changing technology” that can create cheaper meat products for populations with limited access to protein and may benefit arable farming more than livestock farming. The project is part of a two-year study, Cultured Meat & Farmers, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the Transforming Food Systems Programme and led by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). Complex views on the technology The research engaged 75 UK farmers across various …

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A bowl of mycoprotien meatballs

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New Study Highlights the Potential of Mycelium as a Nutritious Solution to World Hunger

A new study authored by leading food scientists, including Harold H. Schmitz, Chair of the Scientific Board of Meati Foods, explores the potential of mycelium, the roots of filamentous fungi, to improve human health, support a sustainable food system, and to reduce food insecurity, malnutrition, and world hunger. According to the authors, mycelium is a cost-effective alternative to animal meat: it delivers meaty texture and neutral flavor while offering high-quality proteins, fibers, and essential micronutrients (iron, zinc, and vitamin B12), holding the potential to improve public health.  Additionally, its production is scalable, affordable, and fast. They also highlight the potential of mycelium in addressing environmental concerns in food production since it is environmentally sustainable, with the additional surplus of helping reduce food waste through fermentation. According to the …

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mycoprotein meatballs in tomato sauce

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New Hamilton White Paper Identifies Key Cost Drivers in Cultivated Meat Production

Hamilton, a leading name in laboratory automation technology and analytical sensors for the scientific community, has released a comprehensive white paper providing insights into the critical challenge of the cultivated meat industry: high production costs. In the white paper, Hamilton addresses the key cost drivers in cell-cultured meat production, proposes applying Process Analytic Technologies (PAT) to enhance performance and cost-effectiveness, and outlines innovative solutions to improve production by implementing these principles. According to Hamilton, PAT integrates advanced sensor technology to enhance efficiency and sustainability. It allows for real-time control and measurement of critical production parameters. In addition, it promises higher quality and volume yields while accelerating process optimization and shortening commercialization timelines. Proteins for future generations Additionally, the company highlights how in-line sensors can measure …

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A new paper on the names and labels for cultivated products published in npj Science of Food suggests that the potential universal term for these products​​ is "cell-cultured."

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New Paper Proposes “Cell-Cultured” as Universal Term for Labeling Cultivated Meat

A new paper on the names and labels for cultivated products in the US published in npj Science of Food suggests that the potential universal term for these products​​ is “cell-cultured.” The study conducted an online experiment that tested various terms, “cultured, “cultivated,” “cell-cultured,” “cell-cultivated,” and “cell-based” on product packaging to assess consumer and regulatory response in the USA. The experiment involved 4,385 participants viewing the terms displayed on packages of various frozen products: beef filets, beef burgers, chicken breasts, chicken burgers, Atlantic salmon filets, and salmon burgers. Each participant was assigned to review only one product with a single term. This approach ensured that each response was specific to the single term, allowing a clearer understanding of how each word was perceived independently. The study …

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Danish Report Outlines Six Ways to Boost Sales of Organic Plant-Based Foods

A report by Dansk Vegetarisk Forening (the Vegetarian Society of Denmark) and Fonden for Okologisk Landbrug (The Foundation for Organic Agriculture) has analysed the potential of organic plant-based foods to be sold in grocery stores and food service outlets. The report is based on the results of a four-month field study which included interviewing key stakeholders, observations in supermarkets, and participating in relevant events. Based on the research, the report’s authors have compiled several recommendations targeted at different levels of the supply chain. There are six key takeaways: Taste — External and impartial taste assessors should be used to ensure plant-based foods taste as good as possible, along with a diverse panel of taste judges such as consumers, chefs, and colleagues from other departments. Buyers …

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FAO conducted a foresight exercise to explore and evaluate future safety issues of plant-based food products, precision fermentation, and 3D food printing.

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Are Plant-Based, Precision Fermentation, and 3D Printed Products Less Safe to Eat than Conventional Foods?

A recent meeting for food safety assessment on New Food Sources and Production Systems (NFPS) organized by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conducted a foresight exercise to explore and evaluate future safety issues of plant-based, precision fermentation, and 3D printed food products. After the exercise and the evaluation of the current food safety standards, the meeting concluded that, in general, the food safety hazards of these NFPS are similar to those of conventional foods. However, they emphasize that new production and processing technologies can introduce unique conditions within a specific NFPS, requiring careful monitoring and consideration from a food safety standpoint. They also added that it was important always to consider the intended uses of final products when conducting safety assessments on …

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