According to a ‘clean’ meat manufacturer, meat grown in labs could be on the menu in restaurants by end of 2018. And incredibly, one-third of Americans have responded favorably to eating clean meat regularly or as a replacement for farmed meat! However, before that happens, companies will have to work on the cost of mass production (San Francisco based Memphis Meats currently spends around $2,400 to make 450 grams of beef).

“In vitro animal products, sometimes referred to as ‘clean meat’, are made from stem cells harvested via biopsy from living livestock, which are then grown in a lab over a number of weeks.”1 

Many environmentalists believe this could be the key to reducing global warming and feeding an ever-growing population. And, one study predicts it might lower harmful greenhouse emissions by 96 percent. Livestock emit methane gas (not to mention require massive amounts of land that could be used for farming or to grow plants that create oxygen) and it’s estimated that 14.5 percent of the planet’s global warming emissions stem from the keeping and eating of livestock (more than the entire automobile sector).

Josh Tetrick, CEO of the clean meat manufacturer JUST, believes the first products for human consumption might be ready within months: “chicken nuggets, sausage, and foie gras created using the technique could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia.”2 

And Mosa Meat, whose lab based at Maastricht University in the Netherlands was responsible for creating the world’s first cultured hamburger, believe that they will have a product available for the mass market within three years.

The animal rights charity Peta has been investing in in vitro meat research for the past six years, offering $1 million in 2014 to the first scientist who could produce and bring to market, in vitro chicken meat. In a statement, they said, “We believe it’s the first important step toward realizing the dream of one day putting environmentally sound, humanely produced real meat into the hands and mouths of the people who insist on eating animal flesh.”3 

Although many Americans say they would be willing, manufacturers know there will be a public perception hurdle as people move away from eating traditionally farmed meat. But, it’s still a worthy investment to pursue.

Would you eat lab-created meat?

Sources and References

  1. The Independent, March 2, 2018.
  2. The Independent, March 2, 2018.
  3. The Independent, March 2, 2018.