Move over, cows and chickens. The lab-grown meat revolution is here, and we’re here for it. If you missed the memo: Lab-grown meat, also known as cultured or clean meat, is produced in a petri dish instead of a pasture. It’s like alchemy, turning a drop of animal cells into a full-fledged feast. The first lab-grown beef patty was unveiled in 2013, and since then, it’s come a long way with the addition of chicken, duck, pork, and even seafood to the menu.
Gone are the days when the concept made people laugh. Now, it’s increasingly looking like the future of meat. Just a few short years ago, who would have thought that we could make burgers without a single moo?
Here’s the beef, folks
Advocates say the benefits of lab-grown meat are many. It could be the solution to reducing the environmental impact of traditional animal agriculture and improving animal welfare. No more deforestation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a smaller footprint on land and water. Plus, say goodbye to animal slaughter.
Lab-grown meat may still be in its infancy, but it’s quickly growing up. Companies are racing to bring this technology to market, and soon, we may see lab-grown meat become a realistic alternative to traditional meat. There are still some hurdles to jump: Lab-grown meat needs to be produced on a larger scale, become more affordable and most importantly, be deemed safe and healthy for consumption. It also has to overcome regulatory challenges and win over the hearts of consumers.
From petri dish to plate
There are several companies around the world that are currently working on developing lab-grown meat. Some examples include:
- Memphis Meats: A San Francisco-based company that is developing lab-grown beef, poultry, and pork. They have already produced several lab-grown meat products such as chicken and duck, and are working to bring their products to market.
- Mosa Meat: A Dutch company that was the first to unveil a lab-grown beef patty in 2013. They are currently focused on developing lab-grown beef, and have also developed a lab-grown meatball.
- JUST Inc. (formerly Hampton Creek): A San Francisco-based company that is developing lab-grown meat and plant-based alternatives to traditional meat products. They have developed a lab-grown chicken product called “JUST Chicken” which is available in some restaurants and supermarkets in the US.
- SuperMeat: An Israeli company that is developing lab-grown chicken meat. They have already produced lab-grown chicken nuggets and are working to bring their products to market.
- Finless Foods: A San Francisco-based company that is developing lab-grown seafood, specifically bluefin tuna. They have already produced lab-grown fish cells and are working to scale up production to bring their products to market.
- Future Meat Technologies: A Israel-based company that is developing lab-grown meat using a proprietary method to produce meat at a lower cost.
The meat of the matter
While lab-grown meat is still not widely available, it is becoming more accessible as technology improves. But who knows, in the not-so-distant future, we may be able to enjoy a juicy lab-grown burger without a hint of guilt. Bon appétit!