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Lab Grown Meat Is Here. But Is It The Future?

July 27, 2023
x min read

For the last half of a decade, Silicon Valley has been quietly working on its next futuristic attempt to change the world: lab grown meat.

A stark contrast from plant based meat- which relies upon using plant based ingredients as inputs to replicate animal meat- lab grown meat is a paradigm shift entirely. It is not "fake meat" or "alternative meat". But rather, it is real, genuine animal meat- made without harming any animals.

Made from the cell lines of animals, lab grown meat relies on a unique production process which utilizes bioreactors and scaffolding to have the same taste and texture of animal derived meat.

Put simply, lab grown meat wants to make the burger- without the cow.

And now it's becoming a reality.

What Is It:

  • Cell-cultivated meat is grown from a sample of an animal’s cells, resulting in the same meat product consumers are used to, but grown in a more humane and environmentally-friendly way
  • Rather than trying to mimic the taste and texture of meat through non-meat ingredients, cell-cultivated meat is genuine animal meat, just grown in a controlled environment rather than inside the animal

What Happened:

  • The US Department of Agriculture has quietly declared that lab grown meat is officially on its way to US consumers.
  • This comes after the FDA approved cell cultivated meat late last year
  • The USDA announcement was specifically for cell-cultivated chicken, which is anticipated to roll out to restaurants and grocery stores imminently

The Big Picture:

  • The technology behind cell-cultivated meat has the potential to disrupt the trillion dollar traditional meat sector, and industry leaders are taking notice.
  • Meat conglomerates Tyson Foods, JBS, and Cargill have all announced recent investments in the space.
  • There are over 150 companies globally pursuing cell-cultivated meat. To date, they have raised approximately $3 billion in growth capital
  • Of these 150 companies, just four are publicly-traded on North American exchanges

What's Next:

  • US approval is also likely to create a ripple effect globally, incentivizing other countries to adopt similar regulations and support the development and sale of cell-cultivated meat, fostering the growth of a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional meat production.
  • The venture capital community is clearly taking notice, with numerous startups coming out of stealth mode and announcing large financing rounds on the back of the USDA approval
  • A larger cultural sentiment shift- partially driven by ESG and carbon reduction- is underway that is giving cellular agriculture a large momentum, ushering in a new paradigm of slaughter free meat

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