Producing meat in laboratory? It seems quite an utopia, but yes, now this is possible. The San Francisco based company, Memphis Meats has presented the first poultry meat derived totally from animal cells, in a laboratory. The traditional way of producing meat is turning to be very problematic for the animals welfare, environment and human health. According to researchers today’s meat production system is employing 1/3 of Earth’s fresh water and land surface and generates nearly 1/5 of all greenhouse gas emissions. The rapid population expansion is expecting to increase the meat demand by 70% in the next 30 years.
How the meat is produced?
The clean meat produced by Memphis Meats in laboratory is artificially obtained starting from real animal cells. Even if this method it is not based on the traditional alimentation and reproduction of animals, the final result seems almost a miracle. A few cells are enough to obtain a delicious and authentic product, without even the need of animals. The lab-grown meat still requires fetal serum, which comes from unborn calves and chicks, to start the cultivation process. Memphis Meats told The Wall Street Journal in 2016 that it expects to replace the serum with something plant-based soon.
When launched to consumers?
Introducing a new concept to population has always been challenging at the beginning, and overcome prejudices becomes a goal. The Memphis Meats product is intended to address not a specific niche, but the entire public. They are focusing to present efficiently through images and video the artificial meat, which results visually delicious. The main characteristic about the meat remains however its utility for the environment. The team aims to a mass launch of its products to public in 2021.
The innovative idea of Memphis Meats to produce meat in laboratory starting from animal cells could be the right solution. This project was embraced and supported since the beginning by Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Richard Branson (Virgin). The two leaders and other investors like Atomico, New Crop Capital, SOSV, Fifty Years, KBW Ventures, Inevitable Ventures, Suzy and Jack Welch, Kyle Vogt, and Kimbal Musk had financed the startup, which raised $22M. Memphis Meats are planning to employ the funds to continue developing delicious products and to reduce production costs to levels comparable to traditional meat costs.
All images: Memphis Meats