The campaign to promote veganism by exposing the destructive reality of the animal agriculture industry.

TABLE MANNERS: Getting lab-grown meat and milk to the table


Cell-cultured meat and milk products should make it to supermarket shelves within the next few years. But no one really knows whether they will eventually grab a significant share of animal-based foods.

BOB HOLMES: Diners at the swanky Atelier Crenn restaurant in San Francisco expect to be served something unusual. After all, the venue boasts three Michelin stars and is widely considered to be one of the world’s top restaurants. But if all goes according to plan, there will soon be a new dish on the menu that truly is remarkable: chicken that was never part of a living bird.

That peculiar piece of meat – likely to be the first of its kind ever sold in the US – comes from a radical sort of food technology now in development, in which meat is produced by culturing muscle cells in vast tanks of nutrients. A similar effort – to culture mammary cells – is also underway and may soon yield real milk without cows.

The company behind Crenn’s chicken, California-based Upside Foods, got a thumbs-up in November 2022 from the US Food and Drug Administration, which said it had no concerns about the safety of the technology. (The company’s manufacturing facility still requires a certificate of inspection from the US Department of Agriculture.)

This cellular agriculture, as some of its proponents call it, faces formidable technical obstacles before it can ever be more than a curiosity. But if it does reach the mainstream, it offers the prospect of a cruelty-free source of meat and dairy – potentially with a smaller environmental footprint than conventional animal products…

Proponents hope that cellular meat and milk can eventually offer several big advantages over conventional versions. By cutting animals out of the process, cultured products do away with most of the animal-welfare issues that beset modern factory farms. Meat and milk that come from clean culture facilities instead of manure-laden farmyards should also be less likely to carry food-borne diseases, says Elliot Swartz, lead scientist for cultivated meat technology at the Good Food Institute, a Washington DC-based nonprofit organisation supporting alternatives to meat…

A few of cell-cultured meat and milk products should make it to supermarket shelves within the next few years, experts say. But as promising as these first steps are, no one really knows whether cellular meat and milk will eventually grab a significant share of the global market for animal-based foods.

“There are certainly immense challenges – no one’s denying that,” says Eric Schulze [Upside vice president of product and regulation]. “But our plan is to work on that as an industry. It’s effectively a space race for food. The difference here is we will attempt to rationally solve these challenges one by one in a reasonable time frame – and do it safely, of course, since it’s food”. SOURCE…