Jun 10, 2022
Would you eat a burger that was grown in a lab? What about a chicken that never had feathers?
The meat once ate only in sci-fi tales is now real. It's called “cultivated meat.” The meat could be coming to your plate. In late May, Eat Just, a US-based company, announced it’s planning to build 10 “bioreactors.” They will grow more than 13,000 tons of un-farmed beef and chicken a year. The company is waiting for official approval to keep going.
Cultivated meat is made from live animals' cells. It's grown in a lab. Then, the cells are shaped into meat. Supporters say there are many benefits. One is that no animals have to be killed. Another, they say, is greenhouse gas emissions could be cut. Livestock produces a lot of emissions. The third benefit is the cultivated meat could be a less fatty source of protein. It also doesn't need antibiotics or artificial hormones.
Skeptics, though, argue the environmental benefits might not be that big. They say the infrastructure needed to make a lot of cultivated meat would offset likely gains from cutting the production of grazing cattle. Some ethicists think it might be a cop-out. Vegetarians might eat it, but animals would continue to be used. Others wonder about unforeseen dangers: could the kind of cell-growth that causes tumors in humans also occur in the making of lab grown meat?
Producers, however, are bullish. “Our grandchildren are going to ask us about why we ate meat from slaughtered animals back in 2022,” Eat Just's CEO told The Guardian.
This resource provides information and guidance for students to start a Meatless Mondays program at their school.
Lab Meat Reading Comprehension
This reading comprehension resource explains the benefits of lab grown meat while highlighting the negative environmental and health impacts of traditional meat.
Food Truck Encourages People to Eat Less Meat
This video highlights a food truck serving "chicken" satay during Climate Week NYC by World Animal Protection and Daring Foods.