Hocus-pocus tricks and moral progressions: The emerging meanings of cultured meat in online news comments

Toni Ryynänen, Anni Ilona Toivanen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Narratives of cellular agriculture, or food technologies using cell cultivation to produce agricultural products such as cultured meat, promise sustainable, ethical alternatives as well as solutions to global food challenges. Although cultured meat is unavailable to consumers, people have formed opinions about it on the basis of media coverage. Drawing on studies of the meaning system of food and the media publicity surrounding cultured meat, the aim is to analyze the emerging meanings of cultured meat in Finnish online news comments (n = 662). The comments were examined using qualitative content analysis and the results were utilized to construct an emerging meaning system for cultured meat. The results indicate that this system draws from nine themes and three aggregate categories, based on the following questions: Why is cultured meat necessary (environmental, animal wellbeing and healthiness considerations)? What are the anticipated product characteristics (naturalness, potential risks and sensory qualities)? How is cultured meat expected to influence societies (the role of actors, decision-making and inequities caused by cultured meat)? The uncertainties of these issues have led to conflicting interpretations, which prevent the achievement of a shared definition of cultured meat and complicate the establishment of cultured meat as an accepted food.

TidskriftFood, Culture, and Society
Antal sidor30
Status!!E-pub ahead of print - 27 jan. 2022
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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