Clean Meat for a Clean Planet

We’ve all seen it: the ad for the Impossible Burger, which sounds both tempting and downright impossible.

But it’s not impossible to cultivate an authentic-tasting burger from plant-based products; and soon, it might be one of the ways in which we can feed the 9 billion people joining our planet by 2050.

So what exactly is an impossible burger, and how is it made?

Clean Meat

The Impossible Burger is cultivated meat, or clean meat, which is created in a lab by extracting animals’ cells and growing them (a process that does not harm the animal). Scientists will feed these cells essential nutrients, including sugars and salts, and then once they reach maturity, scientists will transfer them to 3-D mesh platforms, which help develop the cells’ fibers so they can stretch like real meat.

It should be noted that some clean meats are fed fetal bovine serum, which comes from cow fetuses, so when buying clean meat, you should check to make sure it is vegan.

Because this is a relatively new product, there a few questions you might have. Don’t worry; they’re answered below!


Question: Okay, so they have the impossible burger, but what if I don’t like burgers? What if I want a chicken drumstick or a steak?

Answer: I’m sorry to say, but our technology isn’t quite ready to handle large cuts of meat. The cultivated cells only mature into small strips of meat (20,000 strips makes one burger). To make larger cuts of meat, scientists would have to grow different types of cells and then fuse them together. For now, you can enjoy ground beef, nuggets, and sausage.

Question: I want to buy the Impossible Burger at my local grocery store to eat at home. Who sells it?

Answer: The Impossible Burger is sold to bulk food sellers, not consumers. So you can find it in a restaurant, but you can’t buy it in a store–yet.

Question: Why would I switch to clean meat instead of sticking with regular meat?

Answer: It’s called clean meat for a reason. Unlike livestock, clean meat doesn’t require antibiotics. Antibiotics are given to livestock to keep them from getting or carrying diseases, but the over-use of such medicine has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. You can read an article about it here.


In addition to being healthier for us, clean meat could lead to a cleaner planet.

The Beef Industry vs. Climate Change

It’s no secret that the agriculture industry has contributed to climate change, but which part is doing the most damage?

Meat and dairy production are carbon-intensive—especially in the beef industry. The beef industry results in five times more climate-warming emissions than the pork and chicken industries, requires 28 times more land, and uses 11 times more water. (Retweet this!)

Yikes. That’s pretty bad. But increased carbon dioxide emissions aren’t the only effect the beef industry has on the planet.

According to the EPA, methane is the leading contributor to climate change behind carbon dioxide; accounts for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; and has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. In the United States, methane emissions come from landfills, natural gas and oil systems, coal mining, and livestock.

In the livestock sector, methane is produced during the anaerobic decomposition of livestock manure, most of which comes from dairy and cattle operations. The United States’ methane emissions in the livestock sector have steadily increased since 1990, reaching 22.3 MMTCE (million metric tons of carbon equivalent) in 2010.


Many argue that greenhouse gases are emitted naturally and, therefore, climate change is neither human-caused nor important. Part of this is true. Greenhouse gases are emitted naturally, and they always have been. Of course, anthropogenic (caused by human activity) emissions have increased steadily since the Industrial Revolution and have, in fact, contributed to and accelerated climate change.

Methane is emitted naturally into the atmosphere by a variety of things, including microbes within the soil and within termites as well as by earth’s natural resources. Wetlands, for instance, account for 72 percent of naturally-emitted methane. In these wetlands, methane is created by anaerobic bacterial decomposition of plant material. Wetlands emit 659 MMTCE (yes, much more than the livestock sector).

Wetland methane emissions are worsening due to climate change, which has accelerated anaerobic microbial activity. With increased precipitation, which is predicted to occur at alarming rates in the future, wetlands will grow, as will their methane emissions.

So while the livestock sector doesn’t seem to contribute nearly as much to methane emissions as wetlands do, reducing the amount of meat we consume will help the planet. 

Feeding the World and Saving the Planet with Clean Meat 

A recent report published in The Lancet discussed the world’s growing population and shrinking food supply, urging readers to adopt a largely plant-based diet and consume less meat. According to this report, small increases in the consumption of red meat and dairy will make the goal of feeding the world’s population in 2050 exceedingly difficult.

Additionally, the report concluded that the world should reduce meat and sugar consumption by 50 percent. This reduction wouldn’t be equal, however. Countries with rich diets, such as the United States and Canada, would need to adopt plant-based diets, allowing undeveloped countries access to meat.

By switching to clean meat, developed countries could reduce their consumption of meat and undeveloped countries could increase theirs. In addition to this, clean meat is better for the environment, as it takes less land and water to create. But feeding 9 billion people while saving the planet will take more than a few plant-based burgers.

Another problem the agriculture sector faces is land degradation. Most of our land is infertile due to tillage, which causes soil erosion and a loss of nutrients and biodiversity. Farmers till the soil every year in order to re-plant annual crops.

If we switched to growing perennial crops on this infertile land, we could increase our yield, effectively feeding more people while using land that is currently not able to produce annual crops (you read that right; perennials can repair damaged soil!).

So let’s recap.

To increase crop production, restore our lands, and reduce our emissions, we must:

  • Switch to largely plant-based diets
  • Consume clean meat (and consume less conventional meat)
  • Grow more perennials

Of course, to truly transform the agriculture industry into one that is sustainable, we must reduce nitrous oxide emissions (another greenhouse gas) and pollution, each of which comes from conventional fertilizers.


Nitrous oxide is produced by soil microbes, who consume leftover nitrogen from fertilizer. They then convert this nitrogen into a gas (nitrous oxide). How exactly do these microbes get their greedy little hands on that fertilizer, though?

Plants can only absorb 50 percent of nitrogen from fertilizer, especially solid fertilizers, which form hotspots within the soil. For annual crops, whose roots are shorter, soaking up nutrients is especially difficult.

And this is also the cause for pollution. When plants can’t absorb fertilizers, these chemicals are washed into rivers and streams when it rains.

Luckily, xVirity has a solution. xVital, our completely natural fertilizer, comes in liquid form, so it’s easier for plants’ roots to absorb it. Thus, there is no pollution via runoff and there is less fertilizer available for soil microbes to consume.

Additionally, our fertilizer contains only two ingredients: nitrogen and ionized water. So it’s good for the environment and plants.

You can purchase a bottle from our online store and begin the sustainable farming revolution today!



U.S. Methane Emissions 1990 – 2020: Inventories, Projections, and Opportunities for Reductions

Who are the Biggest U.S. Methane Emitters?

Are you Ready to eat Meat that was Grown in a Lab, and not at a Farm?

Eating Meat has ‘Dire’ Consequences for the Planet, Says Report