Last week, San Francisco-based Memphis Meats posted a video online revealing what they say is the world's first lab-grown meatball.
That meatball was created in their laboratory, where they have been working to grow meat from animal cells. The isolated cow and pig cells are developed into skeletal muscle inside bioreactor tanks and can be harvested in nine and 21 days. Fetal bovine serum from unborn calves' blood, collected from pregnant cows that are sent to slaughter, is used to initiate the process.
The company touts their products as animal-free, even though animals are involved in the process to some extent. They also claim that their lab-grown meat produces 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional agriculture.
The woman in the video who had the honor of tasting the first meatball of this kind said, "It tastes like a meatball." If lab-grown meat tastes like the real deal, is Memphis Meats on to something?
They sure think so. The company is excited about the prospects of their products and hope to have them on the market in three to four years, but one major hurdle is the price. It currently costs about $18,000 to produce just 1 pound of Memphis Meats beef, compared to the $4-per-pound grocery store price tag for traditional, farm-raised ground beef.
To view the video, click the image above.
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2016
February 8, 2016