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Lab-grown meat is moving closer to your plate

Lab-Grown meat prices are down, but will it be eaten?

A few years, the price of lab-grown meat was five-figure numbers. However, recently that price plummeted to a decent $11. But even if it tastes the same and is affordable, will people eat meat that has been grown inside of a lab?

The average American is poised to have eaten around 222 pounds of beef over the course of 2018. Accomplishing this means that every American ate the equivalent of 2.4 quarter-pound burgers a day. That is a tremendous amount of beef! As you can imagine, this causes a great strain on the food industry. Raising cows for beef production of that level is expensive.

A typical operation can upwards of 266 thousand dollars a year for a 300-head herd. This price includes feeding, renting pastures, machinery and more. These costs can be cut down with a factory-farming model, but the increased risk of disease and increased pollution makes this less appealing - as well as the moral nature of these factories.

The environmental impact of cow herds is also a big problem. Cow farts and burps are not something you might think of, but they contributed 119.1 million tons of methane in the atmosphere in 2011. Methane is thirty times as potent as carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up the planet. Despite, I'm sure meat lovers can all attest to loving beef. While some of you may be able to live as vegetarians or vegans, not everyone wants to make such a big jump.

The benefits of a lab-cooked meal

There are some benefits to lab-grown beef, and it's a great alternative. Lab-grown beef eliminates most of the problems that traditional beef causes. It doesn't require animal cruelty; it uses 96 percent fewer emissions than traditionally grown beef. It also cuts down on the land required for meat production by 99 percent. In the US, 35 percent of available land (654 million acres!) is used for cow pastures. This could be a huge benefit of lab-grown beef. All that land could be used for expansion and human benefit. And finally, lab-grown meat isn't pumped full of antibiotics and other disease-fighting medicines to counter the germs that thrive in a farming environment.

Does it taste like real beef?

The 2013 test apparently tasted a bit dry. A taste tester described it as tasting "like an animal-protein cake". That doesn't sound too tasty. However, this is a fixable technical problem. Techniques have improved since then and so has the taste. If you want to be sure for yourself, you can go out and buy lab-grown meat. Mosa Meats and Memphis meats both sell such meat and Memphis meats were funded by Bill Gates himself.

But how is lab-grown meat grown? Learn more about the process and it may make you less averse to eating it. It all starts with taking a small sample of cells from a living cow. That's right; it originates from the cows themselves - it is not synthetic. The myosatellite stem cells are taken from various tissues in muscles. After this, the stem cells are placed in a medium containing a protein that persuades them to turn into muscle tissue, along with the nutrients they need to grow. A cow does the exact same thing, only it eats feed-stock, and the body converts that into the right nutrients. The sample is then placed into a bioreactor - similar to hose used to make yoghurt or beet - and is left to grow for a while.

And there you have it, beef that is the same as cow beef - but without all the problems. The only thing to find out now is, will we eat it?

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