A blue-gloved hand holding a petri dish containing a lean piece of meat.
14 Facts About Lab-Grown Meat You Need To Know
No Animal Slaughter
Lab-grown meat is cultivated by harvesting stem cells from living creatures and then growing them into meat inside a bioreactor, independently of the animal.
The bioreactor simulates an animal's body, supplying the cells with the nutrients required to eventually form the connective tissue, muscle, and fat that make up a cut of meat.
Not Plant-Based Meat
Plant-based meat is made purely from plant protein, which is processed to imitate meat's mouthfeel. Cultivated meat is entirely different from this.
Lab-grown meat has a similar nutritional profile to conventional meat, unlike the plant-based versions, whose soybean- and pea-derived protein content is proportionally lower.
Vegans & Vegetarians
While some non-meat eaters object to cultivated meat because it's derived from animals, others argue that it’s acceptable as it involves less animal suffering.
The animal-rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), endorses the technology as an alternative to "cruel and destructive factory farms and slaughterhouses."
Religious Status
There is some deliberation over how the rules should be applied to lab-grown meat for those who adhere to religious diets, such as Muslim halal or Jewish kosher.
In 2023, Israel's chief rabbi categorized lab-grown meat as a vegetable product, but questions remain regarding eating cultivated pork and whether the meat can be eaten with dairy.
Health Concerns
Cultivated meat products have been declared safe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, but consumers remain skeptical.
However, studies have shown that lab-grown meats contain fewer pathogens and harmful microbes. Plus, it's 'raised' without antibiotics, which is another potential health benefit.