Entrepreneurship is about having a vision of the future that is different from others and strays from today’s trajectory. As humans we use many goods in place of ‘natural products’. Rubber is not, our pearls are cultured, catfish farm raised, and yogurt growth managed scientifically.
I just learned today the future of meat is lab grown. No matter cattle, chicken, or pig farms! In vitro meat. This is cutting edge stuff. (Image a factory that grows filet mignon? Without the threat no mad cow disease, need for hormones, medicines, feed, etc!) These substitute meat products are different from artificial products such as soy based etc.
There are a few groups investigating in vitro meat (or lab grown meat) area and the implications for the environment, global nutrition, disease, and ethics are quite large. Not to mention having to pass taste tests — tofu type flavor and textures will never make the grade (you like it?)
Probably the first research into in vitro meat was performed by M. A. Benjaminson from Touro College. His research group managed to grow muscle tissue from goldfish in a laboratory setting with several kinds of growth media.
In 2004, a group of researchers started the non-profit organization New Harvest, with the goal of promoting research into in vitro meat. Among the founders are Jason Matheny and Vladimir Mironov. According to their website, cultured meat in a processed form, like sausage, hamburger, or chicken nuggets, may become commercially available within several years. One of the first places of businesses to accept this in vitro meat would be fast food restaurants.[dubious ] Since they do not disclose which farmer or rancher provided them with food, in vitro meat in fast food restaurant is often seen as an inevitable advancement.[dubious ]
In April 2005, a research project into cultured meat started in The Netherlands, and in 2008, it was reported that most research into in vitro meat is being conducted by Dutch scientific teams. The research is carried out under the lead of Henk Haagsman, a meat science researcher at the University of Amsterdam, the Eindhoven University of Technology and Utrecht University, in cooperation with sausage manufacturer Stegeman. The Dutch government granted a two million euro subsidy for the project.
On April 21, 2008, PETA announced a $1 million X-Prize style reward for the first group to successfully produce synthetic meat that is comparable to and commercially viable against naturally sourced meat products. PETA said that the number was derived from the same number of chickens killed for food per hour in the United States, one million.
I will continue to be one the lookout for people working on this topic, but I find it fascinating and full of huge potential for leading research universities, students, and faculty.
From the New Harvest website:
One novel line of research is to produce meat in vitro, in a cell culture, rather than from an animal. The production of such “cultured meat” begins by taking a number of cells from a farm animal and proliferating them in a nutrient—rich medium. Cells are capable of multiplying so many times in culture that, in theory, a single cell could be used to produce enough meat to feed the global population for a year. After the cells are multiplied, they are attached to a sponge-like “scaffold” and soaked with nutrients. They may also be mechanically stretched to increase their size and protein content. The resulting cells can then be harvested, seasoned, cooked, and consumed as a boneless, processed meat, such as sausage, hamburger, or chicken nuggets.
Anyone else think this is amazing and potentially revolutionary? Thoughts?