Generation Z (Gen Z), made up of people born between 1995 and 2015, are not ready to eat lab-grown meat, as it is ‘disgusting’, new research from Australia has found.
The University of Sydney and Curtin University published survey results in Frontiers in Nutrition that showed 72% of Gen Z were not ready to accept cultured meat, grown from animal cells rather than slaughtered animals.
“Our research has found that Generation Z – those aged between 18 and 25 – are concerned about the environment and animal welfare, yet most are not ready to accept cultured meat and view it with disgust,” said the study’s lead researcher Dr Diana Bogueva from the University of Sydney.
Of those surveyed, 59% were concerned about the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming, but many were not clear on what those impacts were.
Dr Bogueva said for cultured meat to garner popularity it would have to “emotionally and intellectually” appeal to younger consumers.
“It may be through its physical appearance, but what seems to be more important is transparency around its environmental and other benefits,” she said.
“Gen Z values Australia’s reputation as a supplier of quality livestock and meat, and many view traditional meat eating as being closely tied to concepts of masculinity and Australian cultural identity.”
Dr Bogueva said people were unsure if cultured meat was more sustainable, described by some as potentially “resource consuming” and not “environmentally friendly”.
“The respondents were effectively divided into two groups: the 'against' described cultured meat as 'another thing our generation has to worry about' and questioned the motivations of those developing it, while supporters described it as 'money invested for a good cause' and 'a smart move' by people who are 'advanced thinkers'.”
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