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Perceptions, Attitudes, Interests, and Concerns About ‘Clean Meat’

Most participants did not express an interest in trying cultured meat because they thought it would not taste the same as meat, it would be unhealthy, or it could be even dangerous to consume.

CARYS BENNETT:Previous research has shown that people are willing to try cultured meat and incorporate it into their daily lives. This study explores the attitudes of perhaps the most important group of people to adopt clean meat: current meat-eaters… In the 2013 study, participants from the U.K., Portugal, and Belgium took part in focus group discussions (109 people) or online discussions (174 people). Both groups were shown a two-minute video called “Would you eat synthetic meat?” produced by the Royal Institution of Australia, and asked to comment on the video as it progressed. The age range and gender distribution of the participants was normal and both the online and focus groups had similar reactions to cultured meat…

Most participants did not express an interest in trying cultured meat because they thought it would not taste the same as meat, it would be unhealthy, or it could be even dangerous to consume. Only a small number of participants said they would eat it if it tasted similar to meat and had a similar or a lower sale price. Those who expressed strong disgust were not interested in the benefits of the product to society and some could not continue to watch the video to the end. Upon evaluation, some participants did acknowledge that cultured meat could benefit society by potentially solving food shortages, reducing carbon emissions, and ending animal suffering. Fears about cultured meat also included concerns about its healthiness and nutritional content…

The study demonstrates how cultured meat as an unknown, new technology can be seen as frightening by meat consumers. The participants here showed that they viewed animal farming and normal meat production as “natural”, whereas the technology required to produce cultured meat was seen as “abnormal” or “unnatural”. Of course, much has changed since 2013. Cultured meat is now most often referred to as clean meat, and the production process at scale will not involve Petri dishes. Animal advocates should look to this and more current research to assess how opinions around the subject have progressed forward (or not), and to advance their educational advocacy’. SOURCE…

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