In a groundbreaking decision, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given the green light to the sale of cultivated, or 'lab-grown', meat!
For the first time, consumers will have the opportunity to purchase chicken grown from cells in a production facility, marking a new era in the food industry.
Cultivated meat requires an initial cell source from animals, and while this doesn’t involve traditional farming techniques or killing an animal, the initial involvement of an animal may make it non-vegan by definition, nor would it be considered vegetarian, as it’s still technically ‘real’ meat (without the slaughter).
There are several methods of obtaining cells for cultivated meat that don’t kill an animal, such as a biopsy, swab, or even a feather. Upside Foods gathers cells from a chicken’s egg and stores them in its cell bank. It’s important to note that once a cell line (such as chicken fibroblasts) is achieved, it can be replicated in the lab indefinitely without the need of any future animals. In the U.S. alone, more than 9 billion chickens are slaughtered for food every single year. Companies like Upside Foods are trying to tackle this issue by making animal slaughter obsolete.
Cultivated meat could significantly reduce the environmental footprint of traditional animal agriculture, which is the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and a host of other environmental disasters. As Thailand grapples with the challenges of climate change, the introduction of lab-grown meat could be part of the solution…
Considering the potential environmental and animal welfare benefits, would you be willing to try this cultivated meat? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!