Lab-grown Meats Will Help to Address Climate Change

The protein sector is at a crossroads. On the one hand, global demand for animal protein has never been higher. On the other, meat and dairy already have an outsized hoofprint on the world’s farmlands. And with the climate crisis devastating natural and agricultural resources, we know the Earth’s ecosystems cannot support an expanded traditional agricultural sectorPlant-based protein has experienced rapid growth but is dwarfed by the size of the global meat protein market.

Enter cellular agriculture. Every day brings news of new venture capital funding, adding over US$9.7 billion in global investments. Cellular agriculture encompasses a raft of technologies and approaches that manufacture food and other products normally sourced from plants and animals including: dairy proteins, egg proteins, chocolate, honey, red meat, poultry, seafood, leather, silk and ingredients including sweeteners and flavourings. Cellular agriculture entered the public eye in 2013 when tissue engineering researcher Mark Post produced the first test-tube burger. This prototype cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but today, the same patty can be made for about 10 euros, or $15. In the past two years, dozens of companies have sprung up in Singapore, Israel and California to develop consumer products almost biologically identical to those traditionally sourced from plants and animals.

A few products are already in restaurants and on supermarket shelves. The cellular agriculture dairy company Perfect Day brews dairy proteins in bioreactors using yeast, much like a craft brewer produces beer. One of the largest plant-based food companies, Impossible Foods, uses cellular derived soy heme in its signature burger. Their Whoppers are for sale at Burger King and they have just raised a further US$500 million in investment capital to scale up production. The food-tech startup Eat Just mixes chicken proteins produced through cellular agriculture with plant-based ingredients to create an analogue to a chicken nugget.

Some current cellular agriculture technologies involve animal-based inputs such as stem cells and growth media. These products are not necessarily vegetarian, and so may not be universally accepted by consumers for cultural, religious or dietary reasons. That said, there is a huge potential to reduce water consumption, energy use, land use and greenhouse gases. While there are debates as the extent of the hoped-for environmental benefits, optimists are betting on the fact that carefully designed bioreactors using renewable energy will be more sustainable than a lot of the world’s livestock systems.

https://theconversation.com/

Price Of Lab-grown Meat To Plummet From $280,000 To $10 Per Patty By 2021

The price of producing a burger patty made from lab-grown meat is expected to drop to $10 by 2021, according to Dutch food technology company Mosa Meat and Spain-based Biotech Foods. Mosa Meats co-founder Mark Post created the first lab-grown beef burger (using a small amount of animal cells grown in a lab setting) in 2013 at a cost of €250,000 ($280,400)—funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin—but Mosa Meat and Biotech Foods say production costs have fallen dramatically since then. The average cost of producing a kilogram of lab-grown meat (also known as cultured meat) is now about €100 ($112) which is significantly lower than the $800 cited a year ago by Israeli biotech company Future Meat Technologies.

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The burger was this expensive in 2013 because back then it was novel science and we were producing at a very small scale,” a Mosa Meat spokeswoman told media outlet Reuters. “Once production is scaled up, we project the cost of producing a hamburger will be around €9 ($10).” And they could ultimately become even cheaper than a conventional burger, the spokesperson said. A number of companies have invested in research and development of lab-grown meat in recent years. Biotech Foods hopes to reach production scale of its meat and have regulatory approval by 2021, when it expects to begin generating revenue. Earlier this year, animal agriculture feed supplier Cargill announced its investment in lab-grown meat company Aleph Foods to help the startup brings its slaughter-free steak to market.

Source: https://vegnews.com/