We could be buying laboratory-grown meat products in as little as ten years according to scientists and philanthropists who are throwing time, effort, and money into creating slaughter-free “clean” meat.
The very first lab-grown burger patty was created by Dutch scientist, Mark Post, in 2013 and cost around $400,000 AUD. Now, according to Memphis Meats, a Silicon Valley start-up creating “clean” meats, 1kg of lab-grown meat created from either chicken, duck, or beef stem cells costs as little as $6,000 AUD.
Yes, that’s still an expensive price per kilo, but at this rate we could be snatching slaughter-free, real meat products off the shelves in a few short years.
“If we're talking mass markets, this would most certainly be closer to 2025,’ CEO and founder of the Cellular Agriculture Society, Kristopher Gasteratos, told the ABC.
As well as being ethically appealing by cutting slaughter of animals out of the food process, lab-grown meats also represent a benefit to the environment. Land clearing for grazing beef cattle and the massive amounts of methane produced by the animals account for 11% of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
The process of creating meat in a lab unfortunately still does involve killing an animal in order to harvest Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS), a compound critical to supporting stem cell growth.
Creating a cruelty-free version of FBS is a priority if “clean” meat will be an option for the growing population of vegetarians and vegans, who now represent 11% of Australians.
Would you eat meat grown in a lab? Let us know in the comments below
Recovering caffeine-addict and serial bruncher Eliza Murray feels most at home typing away in a cozy cafe with her re-mortgaged avocado toast nearby. When she isn't reporting on the latest Instagram-shattering glittery food trends, she can be found experimenting with new gin garnishes (hello strawberries!) or biting into an entire wheel of brie (no shame). She tweets @theothereliza