World’s first lab-grown meat facility says it will begin shipping “animal-free” meat to the U.S. next year
Instead of being raised on a farm or ranch, your meat could soon be grown in petri-dishes in a high-tech laboratory.
An Israeli company called Future Meat Technologies has built its first lab-grown meat plant, in which it plans to use bioreactors to churn out cell-cultured meat for American restaurants.
The company, which is in talks with the FDA and USDA, plans to begin shipping the test-tube meat to the United States by the end of 2022, Bloomberg reports.
Also known as cellular meat, production of the product involves retrieving stem cells from a live animal’s muscles and then “culturing” them in a nutrient-rich liquid.
The clusters of multiplying cells grow around a “scaffold,” which helps the tissue take on a desired shape — nuggets or patties, for example.
“The result is a product that looks and tastes like meat because it’s made from animal cells, rather than plant-based products,” the industry boasts.
The FDA and USDA quietly gave lab meat the green light back in 2018.
In a press release, the agencies announced that the FDA would oversee “cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation,” while the USDA would oversee the production and labeling of the “poultry and livestock” products.
Tyson and Cargill are the top two investors in lab-grown animal protein technology so far.
The American Meat Science Association worries that lab-grown protein is not as safe or nutritious as traditional meat.