A number of companies have been experimenting with lab-grown meat, trying to make everything from lab-grown fish, to chicken, bacon, and more. It's said to be the future of meat, growing burgers from petri dishes. And soon lab-grown meat is going to make it onto the shelves around the United States and eventually other regions, with lab-grown chicken nuggets soon expected to be served in a variety of restaurants in other areas.
The meat is being grown from animal cells, in the case of the chicken nuggets it had been cells that were taken from a feather of a chicken that was still alive, no chicken needed to die for the nuggets. But are people eager to consume lab-grown meat? Perhaps they'd be no more unwilling to test it if it were given the proper packaging; repackage the pink slime into something more edible.
A handful of companies that are working on lab-grown meats are currently helping to shape the future of agriculture and within only 5 years we could start to see these products enter our local grocery stores.
The cost of the lab-grown meat has been drastically reduced in recent years and currently they are working to get it down to roughly $5-10 per kg of meat product, with the hope of reaching that price by 2020. Lab-grown meatballs, burgers, bacon, and other items, could be widely available within the next decade.
Ranchers have been criticizing the alternative, suggesting that it shouldn't be called “meat” because it has been grown in a lab. And the Cattlemen's Association has already petitioned the USDA about the issue, asking them to offer a definition of what beef is; specifically that it's a product of cattle born, raised, and slaughtered in a traditional manner. They argue that it would be misleading for companies producing lab-grown meat products to wrongfully label their products as meat because it would confuse the customers.
Two of the largest food processors in the United States have already invested into one of the prominent lab-grown meat companies known as Memphis Meats, we can expect that it's only a matter of time before the lab-grown alternatives are making it to the shelves. With the rise in demand for vegan and plant based alternatives as well, the cruelty-free, lab-grown meat choices are likely to be a popular option with many.
One of those companies, that's a vegan food business that's working on lab-grown meat, is known as Just and this is an image of what their lab-grown burgers might look like once they make it to the shelves.
The founder of Just, Josh Tetrick, confirmed several months ago that the products were soon going to be on the market, with a post to his social media suggesting that this trend is going to revolutionize the food industry.
They were planning on making their first small commercial sale of their products by the end of last year. Those who have already tasted the lab-grown chicken nuggets have claimed that they were surprised at how close it tasted to the real thing.