The American company received chicken and duck meat in vitro

All of us have long been accustomed to badges on the packaging of products “Without GMOs”, “Does not contain gluten,” “Organic Product,” and so on. It is possible that in the future, on meat products, in addition to the above inscriptions, we will be able to observe the following: “No animal was damaged during the manufacture of this meat.” And all thanks to the fact that researchers from the US company Memphis Meats recently were able to get chicken and duck meat in the laboratory. In this case, indeed, not a single bird parted with life.

If we drop all ethical and other beliefs, such as cruel treatment of animals or taking exceptionally plant foods (against which we, by the way, have nothing), the maintenance of livestock for food has an extremely negative impact on the environment. Animals, the number of which is very high, require care, for their breeding, you need a huge amount of feed, which requires a large amount of fertilizer, acidifying the soil and polluting groundwater for cultivation. And this is not to say that livestock farms “produce” a lot of waste livestock. In general, the creation of artificial meat – not such a crazy idea, as it may seem at first glance.

Instead of sending animals to slaughter, the new technology suggests using muscle cells to “grow” meat in huge containers. This process is somewhat like a cloning of a cell culture, but Memphis Meats representatives themselves compare it with brewing. After isolation of the cell culture, it is placed in a special medium containing all the necessary nutrients. The very “meat growth” occurs in huge tanks, where a certain pressure and temperature are maintained. According to the CEO of Memphis Meats, Uma Valeti,

“We presented dishes from artificial chicken and duck meat. This is a historical moment. Chicken and duck eat people of different cultures, but breeding birds creates huge problems for the environment, and it is inefficient. In addition, we managed to get a meatball precooked product, selecting the ingredients from the cells of the muscle tissue of the cow. We want to produce tasty and inexpensive artificial meat. ”

It is worth recalling that as early as 2013, scientists created “beef from a test tube,” but then the public received this news quite cool, primarily because of the high cost of the final product, which exceeded $ 300,000 per burger. Since then, researchers have worked to improve and reduce the cost of technology. If Memphis Meats plans succeed, by 2021 they will be able to establish a mass production of “meat, in the preparation of which no animal was harmed.”

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According to a review paper (Meat Science 120 (2016) 167–176), the majority of experts considers that there are still numerous technological obstacles that have to be overcome to produce in vitro meat. In addition, even if in vitro meat could eliminate the supposed lack of wellbeing of livestock and has the potential to free up cultivable land, other supposed advantages are questionable and not always agreed upon by the scientific community. However, another major problem for the commercialisation of in vitro meat would be its acceptance by consumers, even if some consumers are ready to taste it at least once. In particular, the artificial nature of the product goes against the growing demand for natural products in many countries.

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