What Is Lab-Grown Meat, And Is It Safe To Eat?

Meat has always been an integral part of our diet, but its demand creates a burden on the planet and is dependent on the slaughter of animals. However, the new lab-grown Meat will shortly alter how it is sold throughout the U.S.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted permission to two businesses to sell the Meat produced by cultivating animal cells that eliminates the need for raising and killing livestock. The Heart made in the lab will initially be available in restaurants and then at grocery stores.

Good Meat, part of the food technology business Eat Just, and Upside Foods both received approval to market cell-cultivated chicken within the U.S. Good Heart currently sells its products in Singapore.

“This approval marks the first time consumers in the United States can get a chance to taste cultivated meat, which is real meat made with a fraction of the resources required for conventionally produced meat,” said Elliot Swartz, the chief scientist for Live Meat cultivated at Good Food Institute an organization dedicated to promoting the use of plants and cells as alternative products made from animals.

Swartz said that its environmental impacts are minimal for plant-based fermented and cultivated meats show fewer carbon footprints and lower land use than traditional beef processing.

Over a third of Americans believe that environmental sustainability influences their purchasing decision-making, and 62% think that climate-friendly practices have the most influence on their choices of the Meat and poultry they purchase in The International Food Information Council’s 2023 Food and Health Survey.

The USDA decision signifies that “new meat products grown from animal cells meet specific food safety and labeling standards to enter the U.S. market,” said Bryan Hitchcock, chief scientist, and technology officer for the Institute of Food Technologists. “Without the approval, these concepts were limited to laboratories and theories.”

You’re likely to be curious about the flavor of lab-grown beef, what it’s made of, and when you can purchase it. This is everything you should be aware of.

The lab technicians of Good Meat’s first pilot facility in San Francisco.

What is the process by which lab-grown Meat is created?

Cultivated Meat, sometimes called grown cell-based, lab-grown, or cell-based beef, is made by the animal’s cells inside large tanks ( similar to how large beer vats are brewed using yeast). Cells are fed the “oxygen-rich cell culture medium” comprised of nutrients, which include amino acids, sugar, vitamins, glucose inorganic salts, and proteins, as per the Good Food Institute.

These cells, eventually becoming the muscles, fats, and connective tissue that compose Meat, are collected and packaged into products made from cultivated Meat. The entire process can be between two and eight weeks, contingent on the Heart produced.

Many firms are researching lab-grown meats such as beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and chicken. At present, the USDA has approved only cultivated chicken.

Suppose you need clarification on whether lab-grown Meat is genetically altered (aka GMO) GMO). In that case, Good Meat claims that the cells used to produce its products are not genetically modified (non-GMO). This information was included in the safety information provided by the FDA.

What is the flavor of lab-grown chicken?

It tastes like chicken, as NPR said it has an ominous texture “closely replicating the texture of chicken breast (minus bones, and tough bits or gristle).”

Cultivated Meat has the same scent and texture as you’re used to, but “without compromising taste, health or the planet,” Swartz declared.

Is Meat from labs healthy to consume?

Along with the USDA approval, the Food and Drug Administration has given a “During the regulatory review, the safety of cultivated meat is benchmarked based on typical consumption levels in the average consumer diet,” the official said. “There is no inherent difference in safety between consuming cultivated meat every day compared to the same amount of a corresponding conventional meat product.”

Some still need to be convinced about the Meat made in a lab. Only 18% of people declare they are highly likely to experiment with cell-based beef. In comparison, 30% are less likely to do so, according to a survey by The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago. According to the study, the primary reasons behind the hesitation are the idea “just sounds weird” and security concerns.

“Whenever there is a new technology, consumers are often hesitant,” Hitchcock declared. “Approval from global regulatory bodies coupled with education and transparency in how products are created and tested is critical to growing consumer confidence.”

report from the World Health Organization and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization suggested that there might be concerns regarding the safety of foods made from cells that could be contaminated by microbial biochemical residues, byproducts, and biological waste, as well as substances that certain people may have an allergy to. The report also noted that many of these dangers are also present in conventionally manufactured food items.

How is Meat from cell cultivation nutritious?

The cultivated chickens’ nutritional content was the same as conventionally produced poultry, as per the FDA. There’s also a plus: Swartz said lab-grown Meat is made without antibiotics.


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