Could laboratory grown meat be the meat of the future?

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Laboratory grown meat is expected to be considered a normal food in the future and industry experts say traditional farmers should be worried as it will change the industry.

Food and argritech specialist Doctor Rosie Baker says laboratory grown meat is expected to become considered a normal food.
Source: Breakfast

Speaking on TVNZ's Breakfast programme this morning, Food and Agritech specialist Dr Rosie Bosworth said the laboratory meat known as “clean meat”, which "is identical to real meat" will become a "game changer" in the meat market of the future.

"When we look at it under the microscope, it is identical to real meat, so it’s not synthetic.

“But what we don't see is the hormones, the antibiotics, you don't see the focal matter, everything else that is associated with factory farmed or pasture raised beef at times," Dr Bosworth said.

"This is a game changer, particularly when these prices come in and under cut them or even at times they're superior because when faced with two options, what option will you choose - particularly as a millennial consumer - one where you are chopping off a hunk of the side of an animal and raising it and feeding it all these resources, just to have a small portion of meat?

"Or are we going to choose a system that does not require slaughter, that doesn't require any antibiotics, at times hormones?"

When asked if farmers should be worried about the clean meat industry, Dr Bosworth said: "indeed they should be. Particularly those partaking in the commodity sector, those that are selling low value produce or commodity meat.

"We start by taking a small harmless swab of animal cells... and then they are feed this nutrient rich broth, a soupy broth of nutrients...and that's what enables them to grow and multiply, proliferate into bigger portions of meat.

Once they are at a decent edible size, we attach them to what we call a scaffold which is a spongy like structure and that helps them to take on this form of a real life like piece of meat, say chicken breast or a sirloin steak verses chicken nugget goo or highly processed beef mincemeat.

"This all happens in a bio reactor or a fermentation tank, much like beer is brewed in a brewery at the moment."

A TVNZ Breakfast poll on Facebook showed 90 per cent of people would not eat clean meat and Dr Bosworth said that in order to change people's perceptions on the idea, there needs to be more education.

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