Clean Meat Basics
WHAT IS CLEAN MEAT?
Clean meat, which is also referred to as "cultured meat," is a groundbreaking technology that is poised to revolutionize the global food system.
Rather than obtaining meat from animals raised on environmentally destructive factory farms and slaughtered in filthy slaughterhouses, clean meat is produced by taking a small sample of animal cells and replicating them in a culture outside of the animal. The resulting product is 100 percent real meat, but without the antibiotics, E. coli, salmonella, or waste contamination – all of which come standard in conventional meat production.
The end goal is to produce clean meat that is cheaper than even the least expensive conventionally produced chicken. Leading experts believe that is achievable within 10 years given adequate support for clean meat research and development.
Just as the inventions of the plane and car have made the idea of traveling by horse and buggy unthinkable, clean meat technology is poised to make the myriad problems of conventional animal agriculture a thing of the past.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO GROW CLEAN MEAT?
One way to understand clean meat’s scientific path to commercialization is to envision a production process that includes development of cell lines that are used to propagate cell expansion in a stirred bioreactor in which media (a.k.a. growth serum) is used to support growth. Once the cells have been generated in volume, they can be placed onto biodegradable scaffolding so that they can develop into more typical meat structures.
Meat produced this way is often called "clean meat" because the product is cleaner—it does not come with all the bacterial contamination that is inherent in the vast majority of meat and it is produced a more environmentally friendly manner than traditional methods.
WHY CLEAN MEAT?
Animal agriculture is unsustainable, environmentally harmful, bad for human health, and bad for animals. Clean meat mitigates or solves these problems.
- Environmental Degradation
United Nations scientists state that raising animals for food is "one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity." Clean meat will require much less land and will cause far less climate change than conventional meat.
- Global Poverty
Growing crops to feed them to farm animals is vastly inefficient, driving up the price of grains and legumes, and entrenching global poverty. To produce enough food for 9.7 billion people by 2050, we will need a more efficient system. Clean meat is predicted to be three times as efficient as chicken, which is the most efficient conventionally produced meat.
- Animal Welfare
The current production of animal products subjects tens of billions of thinking, feeling animals to lives of extreme confinement, emotional trauma, painful mutilations, and inhumane slaughter. Clean meat does not require that animals suffer or die.
- Human Health
About 80 percent of antibiotics produced in the U.S. are given to farm animals. This steady stream of antibiotics contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and superbugs that cannot be killed by standard antibiotics. Clean meat does not require the use of antibiotics.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CLEAN MEAT?
The Good Food Institute has a team of scientists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and lobbyists, all of whom are laser-focused on using markets and food technology to transform our food system away from factory farmed animal products and toward clean meat and plant-based alternatives. You can contact and read more about GFI's team of experts at http://www.gfi.org/.