Clean Meat anyone?

There are many obvious answers to the question:

What do Finless Foods, Hampton Creek Foods and Memphis Meatballs have in common?

Yes, they are all connected to food in some way, yes, they are all startups, and yes they are all based in San Francisco (of course!) But did you also know they are all racing to be the first startup to bring laboratory grown food to our dinner tables.

The benefits are numerous.The process of growing meat and fish from a cell doesn’t seem to be too complicated. The cells are fed nutrients to help them grow the same way that farmers would feed their cows. The process takes 2 to 3 weeks in comparison to the 12-20 weeks needed to give us the beef we have been eating for ever. The cost of production is dropping fast. Originally it cost around 400,00 dollars to produce enough for a meatball but today’s price of about 11 dollars is far more affordable. Animal activists must be pleased as there is no need to slaughter the animal in order to obtain the cells.

A study has calculated that growing meat in labs would reduce the land needed to produce steaks, sausages and bacon by 99 percent and reduce the associated need for water by 90 percent. What’s more, it found that a pound of lab-created meat would produce much less polluting greenhouse-gas emissions than is produced by cows and pigs.

So perhaps Winston Churchill didn’t get it so wrong when he said way back in the last century  “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.’’

You can learn more from the BBC video HERE.

Vocabulary:

  • Cell: the most basic unit of structure of an organism.
  • Slaughter: the killing of cattle, sheep, etc., for food.
  • Greenhouse-gas: a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range.

Would you eat this type of food?

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