Exploring cultural concepts of meat and future predictions on the timeline of cultured meat

Elsevier, Future Foods, Volume 4, 2021, 100041
Authors: 
Jiqing Hansen, Catalina Sparleanu, Yahan Liang, Jessica Büchi, Somya Bansal, Miguel Ángel Caro, Frank Staedtler

In an explorative, cross-cultural survey, we assessed the underlying cultural concepts of meat, evaluated consumer readiness in four groups of study participants from China (20), India (20), Colombia (20), and Switzerland (20). In addition, study participants and lay people around the world used an app to make their own predictions on important future milestones defined by experts in the field, as a contribution towards a crowd-sourced timeline of the future of cultured meat.

We concluded that the concept of “meat” is centered on the notion of “muscle parts of animals”, although depending on cultural background, not all animals or all parts of animals are considered sources of meat. We explored the key concerns of consumers from different regions with regard to cultured meat as a novel food. Cultured meat is considered a technology product rather than meat. Attitudes towards cultured meat are shaped by perceived potential benefits and skepticism regarding its safety and nutritional value. Crowd-sourced consensus predictions submitted by the public generally lag two to three years behind the predictions by experts for events closer to our present time, but the consensus predictions get ahead of the predicted time by the experts for events happening further in the future.