Chinese customers concerned about safety of vegan meat

By Zhao Juecheng and Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/14 23:23:40

Chinese customers expressed concerns about the safety of vegan meat after foreign media reported that China has allowed an Israeli vegan meat company into the Chinese market.

"I don't know if the vegan meat is safe or not to eat, especially for my child," a Beijing resident, surnamed Song, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"It is not organic, so it must be unhealthy," a Sina Weibo user commented.

US news website Quartz reported on Wednesday that China has allowed an Israeli vegan meat company to open in China.

"The Israel Innovation Authority and Israel Export Institute closed the deal with China. Both are interested in lab-made meat and were involved in the world's first such conference in Haifa, Israel earlier this year," the report said.

China's Ministry of Agriculture has not responded to the Global Times as of press time.

Zhu Yi, associate professor of food safety at China Agricultural University, who once visited SuperMeat, the Israeli vegan meat company, told the Global Times on Thursday that there are two types of vegan meat: one made from plant proteins to mimic the taste and look of meat; the other is lab-grown meat by taking cells from fat and muscle and putting them together, and the taste does not differ very much from regular meat.

Zhu said that vegan meat can help conserve resources and is healthier than meat, as the former contains less fat and cholesterol.

The agriculture ministry forecasts consumption of meat to reach 100 million tons by 2020, but based on current domestic production levels, only 90 million tons of meat will be produced by then, China News Service reported in June.

Vegan meat also helps to ease the damage caused to the environment by animal husbandry, which consumes large areas of land, Zhu said.

China Science and Technology Daily also published an article on Tuesday on embracing lab-made meat for food safety, security and environmental reasons.

"By consuming vegan meat, we can save land and water, and the meat is produced in a clean environment, the report said.

However, it requires working under certain environments, including suitable temperatures and humidity levels, to produce this type of vegan meat, which also requires a large amount of energy, Zhu said.




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