Clean meat – also known as lab, cultured, or bio meat – could be served at restaurants by the end of 2018, according to food tech company JUST (formerly Hampton Creek).
This meat is built using animal cells. Foetal blood plasma harvested from unborn calves is often used – though some brands including JUST say they have developed technology to avoid this.
The product is therefore not vegan, though some vegans choose to support the concept, as it has potential to reduce the number of animals slaughtered for food.
It is also a more environmentally-friendly option than traditional livestock farming, with some environmentalists saying that a switch from traditional meat could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 96 percent.
In addition, meat grown in sterile lab conditions does not require massive amounts of antibiotics – which are used at scale in intensive farms.
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JUST CEO Josh Tetrick says that lab grown meats – such as chicken, sausage, and foie gras – could be ready for consumption within months, and available in restaurants later this year.
However, he and Professor Mark Post, the Chief Scientific Officer of similar manufacturing company, Mosa Meat, have both expressed concerns that regulatory issues could cause delay.
Post suspects it may be three years before lab grown meat hits shelves for the common consumer to bring home, and that it will also require a significant decrease in the cost of manufacturing.