Clean Meat: This is what the meat of the future will look like

Laboratory meat is considered to be the meat alternative of the future. But what exactly is so-called clean meat and can it actually replace conventional meat?

clean meat Mosa Meat Labr meat
Source & Copyright Mosa Meat

Author: Ilka Bröskamp

The juicy steak at the summer barbecue, the festive roast or the slices of sausage on breakfast bread - for many people, meat is a staple food that is hard to imagine the diet without. However, this meat consumption is not without consequences for health and the environment, which is why many consumers have started to rethink.

The alternatives that have already been established include above all vegetable meat substitutes which have found their way more and more onto supermarket shelves and restaurants in recent years. Future food trends however, point to another, promising alternative: "In-vitro meat", also known as clean meat or laboratory meat. What exactly this is, what advantages and disadvantages it brings with it and where it is available, you can find out here.

Meat from the laboratory - what exactly is clean meat?

As the name “in vitro meat” suggests, clean meat is created by removing animal stem cells. In the laboratory, these grow into real meat on a suitable nutrient medium. Cows, pigs or even chickens do not have to be killed for this. Real meat, but without animal suffering.

Even if conventional meat consumption is currently increasing (growing populations and increasing prosperity in emerging countries are responsible for this) - According to forecasts, clean meat will turn this high-turnover sector of the food industry upside down in the future. The question is not so much whether lab-grown meat will push conventional meat products out of the market, but rather when.

Source & Copyright Mosa Meat

Clean meat as an opportunity for environmental and animal welfare

Laboratory meat grown on the basis of cell cultures differs significantly from the production and processing of conventional meat. Instead of breeding farm animals for slaughter, only stem cells are taken from them. Meat can thus be produced from cells just a few micrometres in size. Clean Meat therefore promises not only an improvement in animal welfare, but above all a relief for the environment.

Mass livestock farming, the emission of environmentally harmful greenhouse gases and the enormous consumption of water, land and feed associated with meat production are now a thing of the past. Transparent production and meat production without antibiotics. In addition, there is no slaughter waste such as hair and bones. The lab meat should also convince passionate meat eaters. Texture, taste and smell are almost indistinguishable from conventional meat.

Burger meatball for a quarter of a million euros

Clean meat is an important innovation in food technology. Currently, however, production is only possible in small quantities. For industrial production, the technical prerequisites and processes must first be created. This poses another challenge: pricing. In the research stage, the cost of a single burger patty in 2013 was around a quarter of a million euros. However, the more research and production efficiency progress, the more this price drops.

In the long term, clean meat could even be cheaper than conventional meat, as the production chain in the laboratory is significantly shorter. Today, costs are already estimated at o1 to 12 US dollars per buger patty. However, if lab-grown meat is produced en masse, ecological problems can also arise elsewhere, because this technical process costs energy.

Source & Copyright Mosa Meat

Stem cell extraction and cultivation are not without problems

From an ethical point of view, which is likely to be particularly important for vegetarians and vegans, there is also another problem. The muscle cells cultivated for the production of in vitro meat are taken from living donor animals by biopsy. The nutrient solution in which the meat then grows consists of vitamins, amino acids and hormones as well as blood from calf foetuses. Here too, however, research is being conducted into alternatives. It is also a great challenge to develop fillets and steaks, as this requires a whole muscle. At present, minced meat is the realistic product.

Where can I buy clean meat and who makes it?

Young companies and start-ups, including the Dutch one "Mosa Meat"or the American companies "Upside Foods" and "Eat Just", are collecting millions in order to develop the promising laboratory meat into a marketable product that no supermarket should be without in the future. In Singapore, Eat Just already sells cultured chicken and has also launched vegetable-based eggs. Established meat companies such as "Wiesenhof" or "Cargill" and "Tyson" are also participating with investments and proving that Clean Meat has a future on the market. It will take some time, however, before laboratory meat is available to consumers in stores. Occasionally, however, exclusive "tastings" already carried out by manufacturers take place.

Source & Copyright Eat Just

According to a study, the first products are expected to be ready for the European market in France and Germany. Especially in terms of environmental and animal welfare, clean meat is a promising alternative to conventional meat and already indicates a clear upheaval in the meat industry. Only the actual market launch will be able to show how sustainable clean meat is, because in the end it is above all the consumers who will decide.

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