Pork Chops From Stem Cells: Startup to Create Meat in Labs to Alleviate Food Security
The world's growing population poses a lot of threats including food. In the future, there might not be enough food to feed everyone. Luckily, a new startup has come up with a solution -- meat grown from stem cells.
Nicholas Genovese, a stem cell biologist and the founder of Memphis Meats, has spearheaded a research to produce animal-free meat grown from labs. Memphis Meats is a startup company that's focused on consumable lab-grown meats. The company has, in fact, tested various lab-grown food in the past years.
Genovese told Digital Trends that his paper, published in the journal Scientific Reports, details a process of creating meat from pig stem cells instead of using actual pigs. This will allow scientists to create pork from an artificial source.
However, Nature reports that there's one problem in the process -- keeping the pig stem cells from dying and making sure they live long enough to form skeletal muscles.
The idea might not be appetizing to some, but it's important to note that skeletal muscle is, in fact, an integral part of the pork we eat. If meat can be grown from stem cells, this eliminates the slaughtering of actual pigs.
Genovese said that his main motivation to create lab-grown food is to alleviate issues plaguing the food industry as well as help in food security and safety, especially with the looming environmental degradation. He hopes that the meat from stem cells is a good alternative to solve some of these problems.
However, he is still far off from creating accessible and affordable meat. His "lab-grown meatball" still costs $1,200 just to grow. Genovese is hopeful that his lab will be able to make edible lab meats in a few decades.