I am seeing a lot of articles surfacing about lab-grown meat – like these:
Artificial meat: UK scientists growing ‘bacon’ in labs
Lab-grown meat: Taste-testing chicken of the future
Lab-grown meat and the fight over what it can be called, explained
And now, lab meat (a.k.a. “clean meat”) is months away from being sold to us. Because just last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration announced a joint agreement to oversee the production of cell-cultured meat.
It all seems wonderful. Yeah, science! The idea of biting into a juicy beef burger that was produced without killing animals seems like a win for all us. And getting the nutritious benefits of eating meat without me suffering from cognitive dissonance sounds fantastic.
I highly doubt lab-grown meat will offer the same nutrition and satiating benefits of meat from ruminant animals. Even worse, the science proves lab-grown meat is worse for our environment than meat from a steer (see below).
Here are my quick thoughts about lab-grown meats:
Lab meat starts from real meat
Cultured meat is meat produced by in vitro cultivation of animal cells. In simple speak, fake meat begins with a stem cell from a live animal and then it is cultured in a lab. (Sorry vegans – eating this meat will taint your vegan principles.)
Lab meat cannot waddle
Most of what we eat is muscle meat. And when animals roam, they exercise their muscles… which gives us that texture we all love. How in the world will lab meat pull off this texture problem?
It will cost us a FORTUNE
The first “clean burger” cost $325,000.00 to make in 2013.
Of course, those prices will come down once technology lowers the cost to make it.
Current estimates range from $363.00 to $2,400.00 per pound, making it EXPONENTIALLY more expensive than regular meat. Today, the average price for a pound of meat is just $6. Organically-grown meat is just a buck more at $7 a pound.
Lab-grown meat might be worse for the climate, not better
According to this Oxford study, lab-grown meat could be worse for the climate than farm-raised beef:
The results, published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems Tuesday, concluded that lab-grown meat could actually make climate change worse.