Study Gen Z not ready to eat lab-grown meat
New research by the University of Sydney and Curtin University to published on 8 September in Frontiers in Nutrition, found that, despite having a great concern for the environment and animal welfare, 72% of Generation Z were not ready to accept cultured meat.
The five main attitudes
- 17% of respondents rejected all alternatives, including cultured meat, seeing it as chemically produced and heavily processed.
- 11% rejected all alternatives in favour of increased consumption of fruit and vegetables, saying they will stick with a vegetarian diet.
- 35% rejected cultured meat and edible insects but accepted plant-based alternatives because they "sounded more natural" and are "normal."
- 28% believed cultured meat was acceptable or possibly acceptable if the technology could be mastered.
- A fifth group (9%) accepted edible insects but rejected cultured meat as it was too artificial and not natural like insects
However, despite their lack of enthusiasm for the new meat alternative, 41% believed it could be a viable nutritional source because of the need to transition to more sustainable food options and improve animal welfare. 59% of participants were concerned about the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming specifically, however many were not clear on what those impacts were nor did they understand the associated resource depletion.
(Bild: Imago Images / Photothek)
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Gen Z identifies multiple issues
The participants had several concerns relating to cultured meat, including an anticipated taste or disgust, health and safety, and whether it is a more sustainable option. Societal concerns were also prevalent throughout the study, with a large number of respondents worried that eating cultured meat would be in conflict with perceptions of gender and national identity.
Others were concerned about animal welfare, whereas some viewed cultured meat as a conspiracy orchestrated by the rich and powerful and were determined not to be convinced to consume it. Several participants were also unsure whether cultured meat was an environmentally sustainable option.
About the studyThe researchers collected Generation Z's opinions of cultured meat via an online survey. 227 randomly selected, Australian-based respondents were asked questions about their demographics, dietary preferences (such as how often they liked to eat meat), 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 (such as insects, plant based and cultured meat).