May 04, 2021

Lab-Grown Meat: Coming Soon to a Supermarket Near You

What was considered the stuff of science fiction is quickly becoming a reality, because lab-grown meat is fast becoming popular and could soon be available at your local supermarket.

The idea is simple: scientists use stem cells from an animal, and as then they grow more of these cells in a “fermentation vessel, which then ferments and creates meat.”

As Simon Somogyi, director at Longo’s Food Retail Laboratory near Hamilton in Canada, puts it: “So effectively the product of that process is meat that is identical to meat that would come from an animal.”

Several companies – such as Memphis Meats and Tyson Foods – are looking to make meat without slaughtering animals in the process, something that scientists have seen as a challenge to make the best looking and tasty meatless alternative.

In 2013, it cost roughly $325 000 to produce a hamburger made from beef muscle tissue grown in a lab. Now that the food industry is now onboard with the idea and expanding the required capital to produce the food, the cost has been reduced to a reasonable $11.36.

Somogyi claims that due to the rapidly expanding technology and the strong desire for a more environmentally-friendly food source, we might see lab-grown meat on the shelves within five years.

It won’t be at the same low cost for some time, but it does offer new possibilities – and menu options!