Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Petri Dish

What was once an idea has turned into a reality, as the idea of growing meat without the killing of any animals is being developed in laboratories around the world.

Lab grown meat, or commonly known as cultured meat, comes from being produced in an animal cell’s vitro cell culture, instead of from animals that are slaughtered for their meat. Similar to regenerative medicine, cultured meat uses many of the same tissue engineering techniques.

If widely adopted by the public, lab-grown meat could eliminate the cruel and unethical killings of animals that are raised for food. On top of that, the environmental costs of meat production could be reduced as the resources could be put towards generating and sustaining the cultured cells.

Companies such as Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms and BlueNalu are identified by IDTechEX to be leading the cultured meat revolution. 

To grow the meat, a muscle stamp is first taken from the animal followed by the collection of stem cells from the tissue; it is then multiplied to allow to be differentiated into primitive fibers and bulked up to from muscle tissue.

According to Mose Meat, one tissue sample from a cow can produce enough muscle tissue to make 80,000 quarter pounder burgers from McDonalds.

Lab grown meat could easily hit the shelves in the next few years but needs to overcome a number of barriers to be commercially viable.

A burger made from lab-grown meat was presented to journalists in 2013 but the $30,000 patty fell short as it was overly dry due to having too little fat content; expenses for research has since plummeted.

On top of that, lab-grown meat would have to be proved safe to eat before it is to be approved for the market, and organizations are only just beginning to figure out the regulation for that.

Despise pressure from traditional meat producers about how lab-generated products aren’t meat at all and shouldn’t be classified as such, lab-based meat companies are pushing forward in an ethical and environmentally sustainable future.

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