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Would you eat lab-grown meat? How meat made from cells is picking up steam – National

Lab-grown meat, also known as “cultured” meat, could soon be available for general sale in the United States, with the two companies receiving full government approval.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given the go-ahead to Upside Foods and Good Meat, allowing both California-based companies to sell their products in restaurants.

However, it may be a little longer before the same style of product appears in Canada, Health Canada told Global News in an email that it has not yet received an application for lab-grown meat. rice field.

Nonetheless, one cultivated meat company, SCiFi Foods, has yet to file an application but hopes to sell in Canada within a year. Co-founder and CEO Joshua March said at a panel during the Collision technology conference in Toronto.

March said the company’s mission is to “power cattle with electricity,” which avoids the large amounts of methane produced by cattle farms, and that electricity is the main energy consumption needed to grow meat. said to mean

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Click to play video: 'How meat grown from animal cells can help tackle climate change'

How meat grown from animal cells can help tackle climate change

“We essentially produce real meat,” March said Wednesday. “But the main input is electricity.”

Proponents of lab-grown meat point to the environmental costs associated with traditional farm-raised animals and food production. Contributed by Our World in Data, discovered in 2019 31% of greenhouse gas emissions come from food production processes.

More broadly, food production accounts for just over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Marsh, the cultivated meat is grown from actual animal cells and done in bioreactors, large steel tanks driven by electricity. The ultimate goal, he said, is to feed the cells with sugars and amino acids to produce an infinite amount of meat from them.

For U.S. company Upside, the meat is served in large sheets and then molded into more familiar shapes, such as chicken cutlets and sausages. Good Meat says it has a “master cell bank” derived from commercial chicken cell lines used to make meat.

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Once a cell line is selected, it is mixed with a broth-like mixture containing amino acids, fatty acids, sugars, salts, vitamins and other substances necessary for cell growth. Cells grow rapidly in aquaria.

A ready-to-eat dish of farm-raised chicken from Good Meat is on display at the Eat Just office in Alameda, Calif., Wednesday, June 14, 2023. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu.

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Giant mammoth meatballs grown from science lab unveiled

However, new technologies face some barriers.

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March pointed out how expensive lab-raised meat is now, making it difficult to scale up to compete with farmed meat on the volume level. But he hopes, like other new technologies such as solar panels, will eventually come down in cost and scale.

Neither Upside nor Good Meat have disclosed the price of a single chicken cutlet, but said the price has dropped significantly since the demo sale began.

Will consumers jump on it?

Another barrier is public perception.

While alternative dairy products such as oat milk are popular, consumer penetration of meat substitutes is still relatively low.

Meat substitutes such as plant-based meat have branding issues, said March, partly due to the “culture wars” going on in North America.

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“In America and the Midwest, we basically don’t want Californian vegans telling us not to eat meat,” he says.

Consumers may also resent the prospect of eating meat that is technically never alive.

A poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs and Research found that half of American adults were unlikely to try cell-grown meat, with most saying it “sounds weird.”

Half said they did not feel safe.

Chris Bryson, founder and CEO of plant-based meat company New School Foods, said during a panel discussion on Wednesday that producers are “digging deeper into why consumers aren’t adopting meat alternatives.” ” said there was a need.

“Basically, what we are trying to create is behavioral change,” he said. “And it’s really hard.”

He believes the key to adoption will be to create products that outperform meat in every way: taste, price, texture and preparation.

But this trend is likely to continue, especially as meat prices are rising and increasing extreme weather is reducing arable land for raising cattle, suggesting drought conditions. , March still thinks cultured meat is the future. Midwest for the last five years.

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So far, his product has at least one customer. He eats his in-house cultured meat almost every week, and said SCiFi has more than 100 lab-tastings of him.

“It’s fun is not it.”

— with files from The Associated Press.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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