Raising livestock for meat is one of the worst things for the environment, but while you can convince people to switch to electric cars or cut their energy expenditure, giving up meat can help even the most climate-conscious people. attracts. Line. For many people, meat tastes good and is difficult to replace. But there is a silver lining: Technology is now allowing us to create synthetic products that look and taste like farmed meat without harming animals or the environment.
Dutch biotech company Meatable wants you to have your meat cake and eat it too. Founded in 2018, the startup has just shown off its first product, a lab-grown pork sausage that cooks and looks like animal-derived sausage.
“This is a really exciting moment for the entire Meatable team. Being able to see and cook our sausages for the first time was an incredible experience, especially as my co-founder Dan [Luining] And I was finally able to have my first taste. This was especially exhilarating because we know that all of our hard work over the past four years has been successful in creating a real meat sausage that is indistinguishable from a traditional pork sausage. ,
“We believe that cultured meat is the future of food – meat that will satisfy the world’s hunger but without harming the planet or animals in the process. Krijn de Nood, co-founder and CEO of Meatable, said in a statement. Can’t wait to enable more people to taste non-vegetarian meat in the next phase of our journey to create natural meat.
Lab-grown meat should not be confused with plant-based ‘fake’ meat products, such as the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger, which pack plant proteins that mimic meat. Lab-grown meat is actually meat from real animals—it’s grown in a lab rather than on a factory farm.
Scientists can harvest stem cells from a cow or another living animal and cultivate the sample with amino acids and carbohydrates to grow outside the animal’s body, converting the fully formed sample to pieces of meat, such as fish. Can shape into pieces, hamburgers and bacon.
The first lab-made hamburger was created in 2012 by researchers led by Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, and cost $325,000 to produce. Since then, several biotech startups have joined the fray, becoming among the first to produce cheap alternatives to animal meat. In Singapore, the only place that currently regulates lab-grown meat, a serving of chicken nuggets goes for $23—still expensive, but the trend is moving toward price parity. Some companies claim to be able to produce patties for $10 or so at a fraction of the environmental cost of “traditional” meat.
Delft-based Meettable is part of this competition. After securing nearly $60 million in two rounds of funding, the startup has now revealed footage of its showcase product, showing what a pork-mimicking sausage looks like in a frying pan. Previously, Meatable only showed a raw, uncooked version of the product.
Lab-grown meat is typically made using fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is harvested from the embryos of cattle. However, Meetable uses opti-ox technology based on a single cell from the umbilical cord of the animal, ensuring that no harm is caused to the animal. It only takes a few weeks to grow Meatable’s sausage.
Farmed meat is responsible for generating 14% of the world’s global emissions that cause climate change. Thus there is a very strong incentive to provide a working alternative, which is where cultured meat comes in. However, there is still a long way to go as a whole bunch of factors have to line up to initiate this major change. Status of industry.
Technology is needed to deliver products that not only look, smell and taste like the meat of a farmed animal, but are also cheap or at least economically attainable by the average consumer. There are also regulatory hurdles that need to be passed.
Right now, it is illegal to sell lab-grown meat almost everywhere in the world. Singapore is the only market where it is legal to sell such products, but things may soon change. In the US, many expect the FDA to grant approval for lab-grown meat in 2022 or 2023, at the latest. In the Netherlands, the Dutch House of Representatives passed a rule in March that allows people to taste cultured meat in a controlled setting. It provides a basis for new laws that would allow lab-grown meat to hit supermarket shelves. Meatable hopes to sell its first products to consumers in 2025, if not sooner.
“Over the past four years, we have been constantly innovating and developing our technology to bring it to the level it is today, where we can hear, see and, for Krijn and I, even see sausage in a pan. that can also taste this incredible product that we have created. I hope more people can taste it soon following the Dutch government’s proposal to enable controlled taste. This will ensure that people to experience that it’s not just like meat, it’s meat – 100% delicious meat, same in every level, but without any drawbacks. This is a step in our journey to create new natural meat and I look forward to seeing it I’m curious how the product evolves before making it to consumers over the next few years,” Dan Luining, co-founder and CTO of Meetable, said in a statement.
So, would you try lab-grown meat?