Lab-grown meat is coming, whether you like it or not!
The word meat has new meaning. Where it once referred exclusively to animal flesh harvested from a carcass, today a lab-grown variety is calling that definition into question. A handful of enterprising startups have raised and invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the concept of lab-grown meats, banking on breakthroughs in biotech to revolutionize the food industry.

As a result, the fledgling ‘clean meat” industry has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past few years. However, these companies have plenty or obstacles to overcome before a commercial product makes it to the market.

• Lab-grown meat is meat that’s synthetically produced using actual animal cells. It goes by many names, including clean, cultured, engineered, in-vitro, and vat-grown meat. Companies that make the meat prefer to call it “clean meat” to emphasize the idea that it may be more environmentally friendly.

• Although they’re produced in completely different ways, there’s negligible difference between lab-grown meats and meat raised on a pasture when observed under a microscope. Perhaps most importantly, according to the companies who make these meats, they taste passable as - if not a lot like - the real thing.

• To make lab-grown meat, scientists first take a tiny bit of tissue from an animal, filter it, isolate the individual cells, and stick them in a bioreactor. There, the cells are incubated with heat and oxygen, then fed sugars, salts, and proteins so they can grow. This process essentially tricks the cells into thinking they’re still inside an animal, enticing them to naturally replicate like they would within the body.

• With current culturing techniques, scientists can grow muscle, fat, and connective tissue in a sort of mushy blob that resembles ground meat. One of the biggest challenges, however, is growing these cells in a way that looks like cuts of meat you might buy from a butcher. We’re far from growing a steak or shank in the lab. Scientists don’t yet know how to replicate the composition of these cuts, which are made up of a complex matrix of tissue, sinew, and bone.

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Watch an interesting video on the lab grown meat here:
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