By: Thomas Siebertz
According to a CNN article by Tom Levitt, meat grown in a lab will someday become a reality. The article explains that scientist Gabor Forgacs is working on producing meat for human consumption by taking cells from live animals and growing the tissue into pieces of meat. His goal is to produce something that has the taste and texture of real meat and reduce environmental effects of current meat production.
Forgacs hopes to one day market his lab grown meat but knows it will be very difficult getting something like this to pass FDA and USDA standards. Public approval would be a huge hurdle, as well. People are already extremely sensitive about where their food comes from. Concerns only continue to increase because of all the food-borne illness outbreaks that have occurred in recent years. There is also a growing movement toward organic, local, and non-GMO products. It will be difficult indeed to bring this to market.
Forgacs explains in the article that this type of product will not be for the masses because of the cost, which he estimates will be $125-$395 per kilo (2.20 lbs). In an economy where people are trying to save on food costs, this would likely be a small niche market or something used as an ingredient in other products. The product is still far from our supermarkets, but it could potentially be an option one day.
I would be willing to try it if it became commercially available. I think a big question I’d like to see answered is if it would change the viewpoints toward meat of any vegetarians.