Food

Meatless Meat Is Better Than Ever

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Joshua Tetrick wants to kill fewer animals, protect the environment, and reduce malnutrition in the developing world. But he knows veganism is a nonstarter for most people. So instead of converting consumers on his ideology, he founded a company that appeals to our taste buds with real meat grown in Petri dishes.

In contrast to plant-based meat alternatives, Tetrick's San Francisco–based firm, Just, cultivates actual animal tissue by extracting cellular material obtained via biopsy from a live chicken. Lab technicians then feed the cells a proprietary nutrient mix that causes them to multiply. In other words, they create meat without killing a single chicken.

In 2018, Tetrick told Reason that Just wanted its nuggets on shelves by the end of that year. It didn't happen, but the company does plan to start selling in the Asian market in 2019.

Just and other lab-cultivated meat companies—such as Memphis Meats, which produces lamb, chicken, and duck—have a ways to go on the research side. A single nugget costs Just about $100 to produce, according to Tetrick. But the companies also face regulatory uncertainty in the United States. For one, there's an ongoing fight over labeling. The U.S. Cattlemen's Association has lobbied the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to define "meat" as a product deriving from an animal "slaughtered in the traditional manner" and for cultured meat to be labeled, simply, "protein."

And then there's the question of food safety oversight. In October 2018, the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration announced that they both will regulate cultured meat. A memorandum of understanding from the latter agency indicated that, unlike with most other food products, the agencies likely will require pre-market approval, meaning the government gets to decide if a cultured meat product is safe for human consumption before it goes on sale to consumers.

Still, money is flowing toward cultured meat, which is beginning to attract investment from traditional players. Tyson holds a minority stake in Memphis Meats and put $2.2 million into Future Meat Technologies, an Israeli company that wants to cut the price of cultured beef to $2.27 per pound by 2020. Just, in addition to its chicken nugget product, recently announced a contract with the Tokyo-based farm Toriyama to produce lab-cultured wagyu beef.

If "clean meat" can scale up, it could mean a world with less animal suffering, the restoration of ecosystems damaged by industrial livestock operations, a reduction in harmful emissions, and, ultimately, a cheaper source of delicious protein engineered to satisfy a growing global population.

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  1. […] of human knowledge in our pockets. Within a decade, burgers made without meat will be commonplace (page 10). And the memory of a time when HIV was a death sentence will soon fade to almost nothing (page […]

  2. […] of human knowledge in our pockets. Within a decade, burgers made without meat will be commonplace (page 10). And the memory of a time when HIV was a death sentence will soon fade to almost nothing (page […]

  3. But is it Non-GMO?

  4. California condor meat is now within my grasp.

    1. I like my bald eagle steaks medium rare.

  5. Mmm. I can’t wait until all my meats make the same sh-h-h-luck sound as dog food does, sliding out of the can.

  6. So now the ersatz “mayo” fraudster is looking to market vat-grown chicken tumors.

    1. might need some work in the marketing department

  7. Awesome.

  8. With plant-based meat substitutes getting better all the time, from companies like Gardein, Beyond Meat, and Quorn, and available almost everywhere, I don’t really miss the meat in my diet (well, except swordfish).

    While there will always be a market for a real t-bone from a real cow, another source of high-quality, tasty protein, with substantially-reduced impact on the environment has to be a good thing. This could be, in twenty years or so, the biggest thing to happen to agriculture since the Green Revolution.

    1. we can call it Soylent Green

      1. There is already a line of food supplements called “soylent.” I guess it was inevitable. Charlton Heston is laughing from the grave. 🙂

        https://soylent.com/

    2. The “Sustainability” of weed diets is bullshit. The calorie and nutritional density (or lack thereof) requires about 10X the mass of weeds vs food. Then there’s shorter shelf life and greater bulk. Ultimately, about 15X the shipments are required, which is a lot of CO2.

      Edible weeds all use the most arable land and a lot of water, displacing (killing) trillions of animals and generating methane–even worse than CO2.

      Watch a rice harvest sometime. It’s like watching a combine harvester shucking aliens, only what’s dying are billions of frogs.

      It’s a cult for degenerate western faggots who are perfectly fine with the death of trillions of animals as long as they don’t see it on their plate.

  9. I find it very telling that vegans and vegetarians are so determined to call food that is not meat, “meat”.

    Its like a mental illness to need your vegetable food to be “meat”.

    1. Well, loveconstitution1789, now you can rest well knowing that you know one vegan who is very happy to call a “meat substitute” a “meat substitute.” 🙂

      Just for the record, even people who hate soy “milk” have been calling it that at least since the late 19th century. And goodness knows it doesn’t come from a cow. (And anyone with even one taste bud wouldn’t ever be fooled). Even people who eat beef three meals a day call the tasty stuff inside the shell of a pecan or walnut “nut meat.” “Meat” is just a word. Have a great day!

      1. Coincidentally, I call veg-heads and vegans, ”nutbars.”

        1. LOL, No Yards Penalty. So it seems you and Occasional-Cortex DO have something in common — you both think vegans are “crazy.” That’s funny. 🙂

          1. Even a blind clock finds a broken squirrel now and then.

    2. You’re talking about people who want to call a biologically male human being in a dress a woman. Calling cloned muscle tissue meat is pretty sane by comparison.

    3. The author let the truth slip though:

      “So instead of converting consumers on his ideology…”

      Veganism isn’t really a dietary choice, it’s more like communism.

    4. Meat America Great Again

  10. meatless meat ain’t meat

    1. Word.

      How long before the demand that we outlaw meat is made widespread?

      “We have this other shit we can call meat; it’s immoral to kill animals for food and they’re killing the earth!!!”
      Fuck off and die, future anti-meaters

      1. Who the hell is going to outlaw meat? And why would they? Geez. If they did, our best friend would have to go back to hunting wild turkeys.

      2. Yes. I just enjoyed a tasty beef burger that came off my fossil fuel burning grill.

        Hope my (future) grandkids get to enjoy the same experience . It is not a certainty if enviro-socialist wishes come true.

        1. Electric grilles can work, too, or you can just be really primitive and use charcoal. Oil products, including fuels, are not going anywhere. We will no doubt see a reduction in their use, but they will still be around. I mean, kerosene for lighting your briquettes is always going to be needed 🙂

      3. I still think western humanity is at least 1000 years away from fully meat-free existence, if at all. All there is currently is a market reflecting consumer demand for meat alternatives (hooray for markets).

        1. I don’t think that western humanity will EVER be without meat. And, I don’t have a problem with that… I just like having alternatives easily available… and…as you say… hooray for markets.

        2. People will always eat meat. Genetic failures won’t. If this isn’t obvious to you, you need to study more biology.

    2. Nut meats ain’t meat. Coconut meat ain’t meat. But they have been called that forever. Almond milk ain’t milk, but it’s been called “milk” for at least 1200 years. And then of course, there is lettuce, named by the ancient Romans for its milky juice (Lactuca sativa). And then of course there is milkweed. Well, I guess I have “milked” this topic for all it’s worth, or at least dealt with the “meat” of the matter. 🙂

      God save us from the FDA and the dairy industry. LOL

      And here I though only the French are stupid enough to think that one can legislate language

  11. If “clean meat” can scale up, it could mean a world with less animal suffering, the restoration of ecosystems damaged by industrial livestock operations, a reduction in harmful emissions, and, ultimately, a cheaper source of delicious protein engineered to satisfy a growing global population.

    … and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and environmental catastrophes caused by overpopulation of wild animals that are no longer slaughtered for consumption. Oh and most likely debilitating health effects 20 years down the line that the industry and government will work collectively to cover up until a critical mass of bodies starts accumulating. But hey it’ll all be worth it so that a bunch of prehistoric animals with the consciousness of a goddamn rock don’t have to endure the cruelty of getting big and fat and then dying.

  12. If “clean meat” can scale up, it could mean a world with less animal suffering, the restoration of ecosystems damaged by industrial livestock operations, a reduction in harmful emissions, and, ultimately, a cheaper source of delicious protein engineered to satisfy a growing global population.

    Actually what happens is that garden pests are wiped out. Cows, chickens, animals–all get in the way of farmland to feed humans and the food vats.

    And it’s a lot easier to wipe out the elephants that incessantly destroy good cropland than it is to get rid of aphids.

    And the food vats are hungry.

    Eventually all organic waste will go into them–to grow food.

    1. Farmed elephants are sustainable elephants?

  13. It’s not meatless, it’s “vat-grown”, a staple of numerous SF authors.

  14. OK, this reminds me of the solar/wind energy issue. To gather the same energy found in meat we must farm larger areas of land to produce more vegetation. Now we are going to convert that vegetation to a new form (like converting wind energy to chemical energy to store it in batteries) so that we can use it later or convince people that it is better, losing part of its value. Pretty soon the expanded vegetation production and the wind/solar farms needed for electricity to convert it to “meat” (and to have modern life to boot) will overtake the space needed for residences. Oh well, they will say, we need fewer people anyway.

    1. I don’t think they get the nutrients from vegetation. Some vitamins, minerals and glucose and you’re good to go.

    2. http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat

      ‘”…If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, reported at the July 24-26 meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science in Montreal. Or, if those grains were exported, it would boost the U.S. trade balance by $80 billion a year, Pimentel estimated.
      With only grass-fed livestock, individual Americans would still get more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of meat and dairy protein, according to Pimentel’s report, “Livestock Production: Energy Inputs and the Environment.”‘

  15. What tiny percent of worldwide animal suffering is really caused by humans? Animals are tearing each other apart by the billions. On NatGeo I once saw hyenas eat a buffalo stuck in the mud pit alive from the ass end. That’s animal suffering!

  16. Bacon tastes good. Pork tastes good “. Vince

  17. A single nugget costs Just about $100 to produce

    Lol. From what I hear, the power and resource requirements also exceed normal beef and chicken, too. What a waste of effort.

    In October 2018, the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration announced that they both will regulate cultured meat.

    Well, that ought to ensure it never becomes profitable.

  18. All animals die, and will continue to die, no matter if we eat them or not. Also their deaths in nature tend to be much more violent than those by man. Mother Nature is cruel. Get over it.

    1. DEATH CONQUERS ALL

      1. oops caps

    2. Farming animals are just meats.

  19. the topic about chicken is really strange, unique and interesting.
    Panenpoker

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