Move Over Soy Protein: Lab Meat on the Horizon
It appears that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have some real competition coming down the pike.
Artificial lab meat is now being “grown” from pig stem cells fed with fetal horse serum.
Scientists in the Netherlands are indeed on the cusp of developing “slaughter free” meat produced solely in a lab environment. One expert went so far as to predict that the first stem cell sausage could be available within 6 months.
Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University said, “I’m hopeful we can have a hamburger in a year.”
The biggest problem scientists are dealing with right now is that lab meat is white due to the lack of myoglobin, the iron carrying blood protein that gives meat its color.
Dr. Post said that scientists are working on ways to build up the myoglobin in the synthetic meat to give it more color and hence be more appetizing to consumers. In short, the vegan alternative to gassing meat in supermarkets to keep it perpetually red!
Farmers do not appear threatened by this new development – at least not yet.
A spokesperson for the Cattle Council of Australia said the large amount of FrankenMeat that would need to be produced and the difficulty in doing so on a mass scale precludes any competition for the foreseeable future.
You can be sure when mass production of lab meat does become financially viable, fast food chains will be all over it. They’ve already shown themselves to be more than willing to partially substitute cheap, MSG laced soy protein as a filler for conventional beef to cut costs.
The real question, however, seems to be: will vegetarians eat it? Since they already gobble up edamame misguidedly thinking it’s a vegetable, the chances are probably pretty good.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.