Scientists are forever meddling with the way things are. They’re on the hunt to figure things out, how they work, and to make things better if they can. And they’re trying to change the way Americans and others around the world eat meat. How do they do it? They’re using stem cells from living livestock. They grow the stem cells in laboratory cultures for weeks and help them grow until they’re edible.
Because the meat products do not come from cows and other livestock that require pasture, grass, other resources, these meats are environmentally “clean.” Additionally, cows produce a lot of methane gas from their feces, which adds to climate change. If more manufacturers get into this so-called “clean meat,” then they could be a solution to the global warming problem that is making seawater levels rise.
Josh Tetrick is the CEO of a clean meat firm in California named JUST. He predicts that average people will be able to enjoy these laboratory-created meat by the end of the year – yes, they could be on your shelf in a matter of months.
JUST creates sausages, chicken nuggets, and foie gras in their San Francisco-based labs. And the meat they’re churning out could be available in the US and Asia “before the end of 2018.” And that would be a landmark change in the food industry.
Tetrick admitted that his product is not yet up to par. He told CNN that public perception and “sensory experience” of the clean meat products still have a ways to go yet. But the future is bright for this ingenious invention.
Clean meat “will be a complete fantasy if (we) cannot bring the full sensory experience to bear,” he said. That means JUST needs to master the meat’s “color, texture, smell, and shelf life.”
The CEO of JUST added, “Communication issues and regulatory issues” are a hurdle he needs to jump. They are a challenge the clean meat industry faces.
Tetrick is optimistic with his clean meat market availability forecast. Other experts think this phenomenon still has a few years until it is ready to be sold to the public.
For example, the chief scientific officer of Mosa Meat in the Netherlands, Professor Mark Post, thinks regulatory issues are the real problem. Although his firm has produced the world’s first cultured hamburger, regulatory approvals have stunted its release date.
The price of these meats also poses a challenge for the market. For example, Memphis Meats, another clean meat company in San Francisco, spends about $2,400 to make one pound of beef.
Despite the high costs, prices are decreasing and thus it is getting easier for companies to produce clean meat.
Professor Post’s first cultured hamburger cost about $330,000 back in 2013. Obviously, that is too expensive for a grocery store. But he believes that lab-grown burgers should cost about $11 when they’re first introduced to the public. That’s a massive improvement in the four years since he first made history with his burger.
Would you try a clean meat burger or sausage?