Memphis Meats Plans to Make Raising Animals for Meat "Unthinkable"
At this point, talking about new startups that are focused on creating animal-free meat and products is almost becoming redundant. There are already companies dedicated to creating plant-based gelatin, chicken, beef, shrimp, and even pulled pork.
So what exactly differentiates Memphis Meats, a new startup focusing on creating lab-grown hot dogs, burgers, sausages and meatballs, from other companies? Basically their process, proposed timeline, and their bold statements on what their company will mean for the future of animal agriculture.
The company was founded by three scientists, Uma Valeti, Nicholas Genovese, and Will Clem, and plan to sell meat that was grown in a lab within the next five years. By using stem cells from cows, pigs, and chickens, they have already been successful in creating small amounts of meat, such as the meatballs they have recently unveiled (pictured). The products are said to use 90% less water and land, and 50% less energy compared to conventional agriculture, and of course will involve no animal slaughter. Uma Valeti, co-founder, CEO, and cardiologist, called this the “second domestication” that needs to take place. He stated:
“This is absolutely the future of meat. We plan to do to the meat industry what the car did to the horse and buggy. Cultured meat will completely replace the status quo and make raising animals unthinkable. Conventional meat production is inherently inefficient.”
How exactly does the company grow the meat products? They isolate small amounts of animal cells that are able to regenerate and provide them with oxygen and nutrients, with fetal bovine serum (from the blood of unborn calves) used in order to initiate the entire process. The cells can then be harvested anywhere between nine to 21 days. Although no animals are actually killed for the resulting meat, the company has plans to develop a plant-based option for the serum in the future.
With a plan that is said to be environmentally-friendly, more efficient, and not involving animal deaths, let’s see if Memphis Meats will live up to their bold promise of making animal agriculture a thing of the past.
Photo Credit: http://www.thegoodfoodinstitute.org/