Friday, March 12, 2021

Cultured meat costs plunge

The cost of growing meat from stem cells has plunged from $1.2 million per pound in the first lab experiments to $50 a pound, according to Chase Purdy who has written a book about the technology and maintains up-to-date reporting.

In an interview with Meatingplace Magazine, Purdy said costs will come down more when the technology moves from laboratories to production plants.

Mark Purdy,is a professor of physiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, was the first to make a burger from cell-cultured meat in 2013.

Among the leaders in developing the technology are Memphis Meats and JUST Inc. of California, Allah Farms and Futures Meat Technologies, both of Israel.

Allah Farms said it has reduced costs for chicken to $50 a pound. Futures Meat Technologies said it’s on track to get it down to $10 a pound.

Eat Just, the brand name for JUST Inc., said people who are concerned about animal welfare are keen about cell-cultured meat because there are no “factory farms,” reduced greenhouse gas emissions and no slaughtering.

There are still some environmental impacts because the cells need to be fed in a bioreactor.

Eat Just harvested the cells it uses from jungle birds, according to a promotion piece when it marketed chicken nuggets to a restaurant in Singapore.

Singapore seems a logical choice because it is almost entirely urban, so needs to import most of its food, including all of its meat.

Chicken nuggets and burgers seem to be leading the parade of research products, but there is also work underway on fish, lamb and pork.