Constanze STÖRK-BIBER, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Nutrition affects us all and is not only in modern times considered a central political and social issue. Meat remains a particularly relevant food, despite numerous alternative dietary trends. In current debates on meat consumption, the challenges posed by climate change, the overexploitation of soil and water, and the consumption of resources in agriculture are emphasizing ecological problems alongside health and economic aspects. Criticism is also directed at intensive animal farming adapted to industrial scale processes and corresponding aspects of animal ethics. Equally, the challenges of global food security need to be addressed. Which options do the Germans prefer to meet these challenges? In the context of bioeconomy, the TechnikRadar investigated the German public's perception of various bioeconomic applications, including cultured meat. As an innovation from the field of biotechnology, cultured meat promises to address the aforementioned problems of meat production. But Germans are sceptical about the idea of substitution: A majority regards cultured meat neither as a suitable ethical alternative to conventionally produced meat nor as a solution to global food problems. A clear majority of Germans considers cultured meat to be a further step toward alienating consumers from food production and classify cultured meat as an unnatural product in the sense of a binary opposition of unnatural versus natural.