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Insights from a scientist: Why lab-grown meat is truly real meat


The Holy Grail is when you have the T-bone steak on a cellular scaffold that looks exactly like a T-bone steak. It’s going to take a lot of work. What we’re seeing right now is that the products do taste good, it's achievable.

MANASEE WAGH: About 40 years ago, the first beef burger—grown from cow stem cells in a laboratory setting—hit the frying pan. This landmark achievement in “cultured meat” made news headlines because it sidestepped the cow’s meat entirely. While this endeavor created a $325,000 burger, more than 100 startup companies have since taken up the challenge to perfect not only cultured beef, but also chicken, pork, and fish, in hopes of scaling up the process, lowering the cost, and ultimately bringing cruelty-free meat to your table.

For example, BELIEVER Meats, headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, touts its cultured meat products as being cruelty-free and better for the environment than traditionally farmed meat, because animals require vast amounts of land, food, and water, and are a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The company, started in 2018, broke ground in 2022 to establish the largest cultivated meat factory in the world in Wilson, North Carolina. Both BELIEVER Meats and Upside Foods have been able to grow and produce enough meat to be served in upscale restaurants to limited numbers of customers.

To learn more about the science of engineering lab-grown meat, we spoke with Paul Mozdziak, Ph.D., a physiology professor at North Carolina State University with expertise in cultivating animal cells in a lab. SOURCE…


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