Beyond the Lab-Grown Burger: ‘Cellular Agriculture’ is Taking Over the Food Industry

It’s been 6 years since scientists grew the world’s first beef burger made without the cow in the lab. As it nears its supermarket debut, researchers around the world are joining the cellular agriculture movement and growing all sorts of animal products, including delicacies such as foie gras and bluefin tuna, without the animal.

As the world’s population keeps rising, the production of meat is becoming unsustainable. The average European eats 80kg of meat per year, while North Americans and Australians eat over 110kg per year. Many consider the Western world has reached ‘peak meat’, but developing countries are rapidly increasing their meat consumption and could soon match ours.

One of the alternatives proposed is growing meat without the animal. The product would technically be the same, but the use of land and water, as well as the pollution, could be significantly reduced.

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Mark Post, Professor at Maastricht University, is known for the feat of creating the first lab-grown burger in 2013. Since then the technology has significantly advanced, and Post aims to start selling this ‘cultured’ beef burger in 2021 through the company Mosa Meat.

His work has inspired hundreds of people across the world to do the same with all sorts of animal products.