Kolbeck and Elfenbein’s mission is to develop a platform and set of technologies that would allow any meat to be cultured in the lab using well-defined procedures. The two are stealthy around their technology, which is still in development. But the essential concept is to multiply basic animal cells in the lab and effectively culture meat. This means that the meat is fundamentally “meat,” and not a meat substitute using plant cells like Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burger.
The rabbi is in charge of figuring out how the Orthodox Union, the largest kosher certifying organization in the world, should deal with what is known as clean meat — meat that is grown in laboratories from animal cells. This brings him in touch with a possibility for Jewish cuisine that had previously seemed impossible: kosher bacon.
The end of animal farming, or even its substantial reduction, would bring huge benefits to the planet, our health, and of course the lives of the 56 billion animals slaughtered annually for meat consumption.Obviously, end-of-the-year predictions are always a game as much as a rational analysis, but that’s why we like them.
Cultured meat can be produced from growing animal cells in-vitro rather than as part of a living animal. This technology has the potential to address several of the major ethical, environmental, and public health concerns associated with conventional meat production. However, research has highlighted some consumer uncertainty regarding the concept. Although several studies have examined the media coverage of this new food technology, research linking different frames to differences in consumer attitudes is lacking. In an experimental study, we expose U.S. adults (n = 480) to one of three different frames on cultured meat: “societal benefits,” “high tech,” and “same meat.”
We sampled more than 25 products across more than a dozen brands from supermarkets and independent grocers. They were rated on appearance, smell, texture, taste and overall meatiness. Points were combined for a score out of 25. All were cooked in an oiled pan to replicate home kitchens and eaten completely unadorned to level the playing field, which is where many fell short.
While lab-grown meat is in development around the world, Israel’s Aleph Farms claims to be the first company to develop steak in a laboratory. And as Heather Yourex-West explains, Canadian beef producers aren’t buying into what’s being labelled as a kinder, cleaner alternative to the real deal.
The potential flexibility of plant- and cell-based meat producers to switch from one product to another within a species category (from loin to spare rib) or between species much more fluidly and inexpensively than conventional meat producers translates to substantial market advantages. Add to this a shorter production cycle that facilitates real-time response to demand, and it becomes clear that plant-based and clean meat producers are well-equipped to make judicious use of their production lines and to operate more consistently within their ideal profit margin.
In vitro meat (IVM) grown from animal cells is approaching commercial viability. This technology could enable consumers to circumvent the ethical and environmental issues associated with meat-eating. However, consumer acceptance of IVM is uncertain, and is partly dependent on how the product is framed. This study investigated the effect of different names for IVM on measures of consumer acceptance.
Last year, Missouri became the first of the 50 US states to officially define meat as a food product coming from animals. Similar bills are being examined across the country.In France, lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies adopted an amendment that was later rejected and taken up in the Senate targeting products with a “significant” plant-based component that use the words “steak,” “bacon” or “sausage.”In Germany, where the terms “Fleischersatz” (meat substitute) and “Fleischimitat” (meat imitation) are widespread, the agriculture ministry published in late 2018 recommendations that packaging clearly indicate “vegetarian” or “vegan” when applicable, as well as what substitutes are used.
Ranchers are offended by the rise of meat made from plants, as well as the promise of clean meat grown directly from cells. That’s why they are pushing bills designed to outlaw the use of the word “meat” and related terms on the labels of plant-based and cell-based meat.