Synthetic Meat Grown in Lab
If you thought sourcing your meat from a local, ethical source was hard enough – imagine having to choose between conventional meat, local and/or organic meat, and now synthetic meat grown in a petri dish. WHAT?! Yes, that’s right. Chemical meat coming to a hamburger near you as early as this fall.
- A group of scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands are working on this project
- So far the project is projected to cost over $300,000
- They have already grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick. (pictured above)
- The strip is produced by extracting stem cells from a cow, which are then grown in a container of fetal calf serum.
- These strips will be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to produce a hamburger
- Expected to be more efficient than conventional meat factory farming
A few quotes from Professor Mark Post: the lead scientist in this venture
- “In the beginning it will taste bland,” says Prof Post. “I think we will need to work on the flavour separately by trying to figure out which components of the meat actually produce the taste and analyse what the composition of the strip is and whether we can change that.“
- “While I do think that there are definite environmental and animal welfare advantages of this high-tech approach over factory farming, especially, it is pretty clear to me that plant-based alternatives… have substantial environmental and probably animal welfare advantages over synthetic meat“
- “Of course you could do it by being vegetarian or eating less meat,” he said. “But the trends don’t seem to be going that way. With cultured meat we can be more conservative — people can still eat meat, but without causing so much damage.“
Overall this prospect creeps me out. I think the last thing we need in our diets is more chemicals and more artificial ingredients. Not to mention the fact that the level of antibiotics that would be needed to keep this meat from going bad would be massive.
I agree that our world’s demand for meat is getting increasingly harder to meet and destroying our planet. It will become impossible to meet in the next 20 years. But I will have to agree with David Steele, President of EarthSave Canada when he says:
“If people simple ate less meat, replacing the deficit in their diets with plant-based foods, the environmental and supply demand needs would be the same as with producing synthetic meats.”