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Lab-grown meat: the science of turning cells into steaks and nuggets

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 05 2023 · 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Sustainable Lifestyle · illuminemX · Food

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in Nature or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The emergence of lab-grown meat, also known as cultured meat, is gaining traction in the food industry
• Companies such as UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat have received regulatory approval to sell their cultivated meat (produced by growing animal cells in bioreactors), with expectations of a restaurant in Alameda (California) offering the product this year

🔭 The context: Lab-grown meat research has been ongoing for over a decade, but commercialization efforts have intensified recently
• Over 150 companies worldwide are working on cultured meat, including various types of meat, milk, and leather products
The growth of this industry is driven by concerns on land use, greenhouse gas emissions, animal welfare, and the projected increase in global meat demand

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Cultured meat offers a potential solution by reducing the need for land and resources while minimizing the negative environmental impact associated with animal agriculture
• It takes 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef 
However, there are some concerns on the health implications of red meats, regardless if cultured or traditional

⏭️ What’s next: Ongoing research and development efforts are focused on improving cell culture techniques, optimizing production processes, and reducing costs
• The availability and affordability of cultured meat will be crucial in determining its acceptance and impact on global meat consumption patterns

💬 One quote: “It’s very unlikely that this will be much healthier, if healthier at all” (Marco Springmann, Food-Systems Researcher) 

📈 One Stat: According to an industry report, all-time investment in cultured meat has reached $2.78 billion

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