Cultured meat is different from plant-based alternatives that are already available to consumers. It is real meat but instead of slaughter, it’s produced by taking stem cells from a live animal and supporting their growth in a lab setting.
The first-ever cultured meat product that is going to be sold commercially is Eat Just’s chicken bites that use cultured chicken as an ingredient. After passing an extensive safety review by Singapore’s Food Agency, the company will start with selling the product at one restaurant with plans to soon sell to consumers directly as they increase production capacity.
The race for producing ready to consume lab-grown meat has been going on since 2013 when a team of scientists led by Professor Mark Prost produced the first lab-grown burger. There are currently dozens of companies all over the world trying to get clean meat produced from live animal cells ready for the market.
Josh Tetrick, CEO of Eat Just, said, “I think the approval is one of the most significant milestones in the food industry in the last handful of decades. It’s an open door and it’s up to us and other companies to take that opportunity. My hope is this leads to a world in the next handful of years where the majority of meat doesn’t require killing a single animal or tearing down a single tree.”
Why is commercial cultured meat a significant milestone for humanity?
Cultured meat will play a crucial role in creating a global food supply that is better for people, animals and the environment. The animal farming industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and the single largest user of land. Major health crises, like the one we’re going through, have been linked to meat consumption. The extensive use of antibiotics in the industry is extremely detrimental to human health in the long term. And the practices that are commonly used in industrial animal farming are outright cruel and inhumane.
The animal farming industry is outdated, cruel and unsustainable. Reducing global meat consumption is vital in tackling climate change and is one of the most effective actions an individual can take. We need a combination of individual action, scientific innovation and global policy change in order to overcome this crisis.
If you’d like to support a non-profit organisation working to rebuild our food system in order to make it the best it can be for animals, people and the planet, we recommend ProVeg, a top-scoring Kinder vetted organisation. ProVeg is an international food-awareness organisation that aims to accelerate this change towards a sustainable global food system through community building, awareness campaigns, corporate engagement and political outreach. You can easily donate to them below.