What is lab meat anyway?
Laboratory meat, also known as cultured meat, clean meat, and cellular meat, is muscle tissue taken from animal stem cells and grown in vitro. A single tissue sample from a single cow can be used to make almost unlimited burgers. Although it’s been round for approximately 20 years, the lab meat enterprise is now in what academics name its “2d wave,” with a developing wide variety of revolutionary startups attracting massive investments and media attention.
The Pros and Cons of Lab Meat
We should no longer raise, feed and care for three years, nor kill, process and ship them. They believe that the use of animals for meat will decline rapidly in the Western world. Manufacturers can rework the supply chain to their own advantage by selling directly to consumers – a benefit in these times of coronavirus.
And, of course, there are environmental and animal welfare issues associated with large-scale industrial agriculture. On its website, JUST states that it is “committed to building a better food system”, while another mission of the company is “to produce real meat for the world’s growing population that is delicious, better for the environment and respectful of animals.”
Proponents say the process not only avoids killing animals, but, because it requires less water and soil, it’s a more efficient and climate-friendly way to produce meat. This is in part because the process is significantly faster, reducing the three years it takes for a cow to mature to a few weeks.
Learning to Love Lab Meat
Soy milk and veggie burgers made from plant protein have become commonplace. But what about lab meat? Consumers weren’t so convinced. There’s the standard rigor about “Franken foods” in addition to issues about price (new technology would not come cheap), and taste and texture.
In a 2015 Dutch study, researchers discovered that 9% of individuals rejected the concept of lab meat and two-thirds have been reluctant to consume it. Like lab meat has been a stumbling block for the industry, but with the FDA and USDA now working together to regulate farmed meat, the move to grocery stores and store shelves in the United States approximate.
In Europe, the regulatory process for “novel foods” typically takes around 18 months. According to Sarah Lucas, operations manager at Mosa Meat, her business will need to be regulated in 2021. They aim to be in restaurants by 2022 and in supermarkets little bit later than that. There is lot of work left to do and they are working hard on it.