Scientists in South Korea are developing a hybrid of meat and rice that contains 8% more protein!

Scientists in South Korea are developing a hybrid of meat and rice that contains 8% more protein!

Few things in this cold, harsh world bring us as much happiness as a cup of hot rice and some meat curry. But through a terrible twist of fate, nutritionists around the world have decided that rice doesn't provide us with enough nutrition. Likewise, being reminded of all the cruelty behind putting that delicious steak on your plate makes it less palatable than we would like. So what is one to do?

Before you even think about suggesting it, just being tough and giving up on both is not the solution you think it is. Instead, scientists in South Korea have come up with an actual solution to this puzzle. And if you can get over your aversion to foods grown in a Petri dish, they might have some thick rice to offer you.

Researchers at Yonsei University have created a pink-colored rice filled with real beef and lab-grown fat cells. This experimental food, called “hybrid rice,” aims to provide a more sustainable and affordable source of protein than traditional beef. Here's how it works:

  1. Rice seed: Traditional rice cereal is coated in fish gelatin and infused with lab-grown muscle and fat stem cells from cows.
  2. Hybrid cultivation: After 9-11 days of growth, the rice becomes mixed with meat and fat, resulting in a unique pink color.

The researchers cooked and tasted the beef rice, and found that it offered a “pleasant and novel flavor experience” with a nutty and umami flavor. Rice contains a large amount of protein, as it contains 8% more protein than regular rice. It also includes healthy fats, providing a more balanced nutritional profile.

It is much better for the environment than traditional beef. Producing beef comes with a large carbon footprint, but researchers estimate that their hybrid rice emits eight times fewer greenhouse gases. For every 100 grams of protein produced, hybrid rice is estimated to emit less than 6.27 kg of carbon dioxide. In contrast, beef releases 49.89 kg for the same amount of protein.

This can significantly reduce the environmental impact of our diet. Moreover, it is easy on your pockets.

Traditional beef can be expensive and one kilogram costs about $14.88 ($1,235), but researchers believe their rice could cost as little as $2.23 per kilogram ($185) if marketed commercially, making it a more accessible source of protein. .

Rice can be adapted to different tastes and needs. Future versions could include other types of meat or fish, catering to diverse preferences. While some experts argue that the current 0.5% meat content is not significant enough to replace conventional meat, others highlight the need for sustainable cell sources that do not rely on animal slaughter.

Whether it becomes a mainstream product or a niche product, hybrid rice represents a step towards more sustainable and innovative food solutions. As research continues, the future of our dishes could be full of surprising yet delicious possibilities.

The results of this research have been detailed in Theme It can be accessed here.


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