"Alt-Protein": Pentagon Contractor Wants To Feed US Troops Lab-Grown Meat To "Reduce CO2 Footprint"

A Pentagon contractor that has received more than $500 million from the Defense Department wants to produce lab-grown meat for America’s soldiers in order to “reduce the CO2 footprint” at Defense Department outposts, the Free Beacon reports.

BioMADE, a public-private DoD contractor, “is a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) with a vision to build a sustainable, domestic, end-to-end bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem,” according to a project overview posted last month. It is seeking proposals to develop “innovations in food production that reduce the CO2 footprint of food production at … DoD operational environments,” which include “novel cell culture methods suitable for the production of cultivated meat/protein,” aka lab grown meat.

This type of meat is grown in a lab from animal cells with the aid of other chemicals, and has emerged as a flashpoint in debates about the efficacy and morality of manufacturing meat products without slaughtering animals.

BioMADE—which earlier this year received a $450 million infusion of taxpayer cash—maintains that lab-grown food products will reduce the Pentagon’s carbon footprint, a priority for the American military as it pursues a Biden administration-mandate to address climate change and other cultural issues that critics describe as “woke.” -Free Beacon

“Innovations in food production that reduce the CO2 footprint of food production at and/or transport to DoD operational environments are solicited,” the company said in an informational document. “These could include, but are not limited to, production of nutrient-dense military rations via fermentation processes, utilizing one carbon molecule (C1) feedstocks for food production, and novel cell culture methods suitable for the production of cultivated meat/protein.”

The company is also soliciting proposals for “processes that convert greenhouse gasses,” as well as “projects that develop bioproducts useful in mitigating the negative environmental impacts either regionally or globally,” including “bioproducts that can be used to prevent or slow coastal erosion

The project has fallen under heavy scrutiny from critics, who say that US troops should not be used as guinea pigs for experimental food.

Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund the lab-grown meat sector,” said Jack Hubbard, executive director at the Center for the Environment and Welfare, a consumer group that analyzes emerging markets such as bioengineered meat. “Our troops deserve better than to be served lab-grown meat, produced in bioreactors with immortalized cells and chemicals.”

“Unfortunately, this effort is being driven by an agenda that is political and anti-farmer. Our soldiers should never be used as guinea pigs,” he continued.

The Pentagon and its outside partners, as part of its push to fund “alt-protein projects,” made up to $2 million available for such projects, according to the publication Alt-Meat.

Supporters of these efforts say U.S. national security hinges on addressing global change and pursuing new technologies that enable products like lab grown meat. -Free Beacon

According to former DoD official Matt Spence in 2021, “One of the most immediate, politically feasible, and high-impact ways to do this [address climate change] is for the U.S. government to invest in and accelerate alternative ways to produce meat.”

That said, UC Davis published a report last year suggesting that “lab-grown meat’s carbon footprint [is] potentially worse than retail beef.”

If companies are having to purify growth media to pharmaceutical levels, it uses more resources, which then increases global warming potential,” said lead author, Derrick Risner of the college’s Department of Food Science and Technology. “If this product continues to be produced using the ‘pharma’ approach, it’s going to be worse for the environment and more expensive than conventional beef production.”

“Our findings suggest that cultured meat is not inherently better for the environment than conventional beef. It’s not a panacea,” said corresponding author Edward Spang, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology. “It’s possible we could reduce its environmental impact in the future, but it will require significant technical advancement to simultaneously increase the performance and decrease the cost of the cell culture media.

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Originally Posted at; https://www.zerohedge.com//