US company JUST recently announced that lab-grown meat could be on restaurant menus in the US and Asia by the end of 2018, The Independent reported.
“These meats include chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras,” said Josh Tetrick, CEO of JUST.
“A bold prediction may finally come true,” commented Forbes, referring to what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in 1931: “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium”.
Lab meat is sometimes referred to as “clean meat”. According to the Guardian, to create clean meat, cell samples from animals’ muscles are taken. Then, the cells are grown into meat in a lab.
The main benefit of producing meat this way is the time that it takes. For example, raising a cow usually takes over 20 weeks, but producing a lab-grown burger takes only nine weeks, CNN reported.
The first clean meat was a beef burger that was produced in 2013, but its taste was described as quite dry. However, people who tried the latest version of clean meat told CNN that they thought it tasted just like traditional meat.
While the Guardian called clean meat “the start of the next food revolution,” some are wary of it. Producers of meat from livestock say that the name “clean meat” is misleading, claiming that this product isn’t “meat” at all.
“Why not just eat the meat from the cow instead of going through a laborious process that turns cow cells into other cow cells?” asked Slate magazine.
But another benefit of clean meat could be that it’s healthier than regular meat. By controlling what types of fats go into it, producers can make meat with healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for people’s hearts.
Clean meat could also reduce global warming. According to The Washington Post, about 14.5 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions come from raising livestock. That’s more than the emissions produced by all of the world’s vehicles combined – including planes. It’s predicted that switching to clean meat could lower greenhouse emissions by 96 percent, The Independent reported.