FAQ ABOUT CULTURED MEAT

 

Cultured meat raises a lot of questions: what is it, how does it taste, and why does it matter?  In this FAQ we try to answer some of these questions. If you have a question tha is not mentioned you can send your question to us and we will reply to you as fast as possible.

Q: What is the cultured meat foundation?

A: The cultured meat foundation is a Dutch non-profit organisation which goal it is to improve awareness of the possibilities of cultured meat, and instigates research to make cultured meat a reality.

 

Q: What is cultured meat?

A: Cultured meat is a way of producing animal meat using the (muscle)cells of these animals. We use the natural ability of cells to divide and multiply so we can create muscle tissue that can be eaten. By taken a few cells from the animal we can grow, potentialy, a much bigger amount of meat than the animal has. This will reduce the burden that confentional meat production has on he enviroment.

 

Q: How does it taste?

A: There is no real product on the market at the moment so we do not know how that would taste. However when the first cultured hamburger was tasted in 2013 the food critics talked about a lack of fat but a meaty flavor. Cultured meat is made of the same things as conventional meat so we expect exactly the same taste.

 

Q: When will I be able to buy cultured meat in a store?

A: This is very hard to say. Currently cultured meat only is made in extremely small quantities as a proof of concept. Before the price reaches an affordable amount we will need to innovate on the production method. Without proper funding these project will not be preformed and cultured meat will maybe never happen.

 

Q: Why do you think cultured meat is important?

A: Our current meat production system is under a lot of pressure. The oceans are being depleted of fish and animal husbandy requires land and water in huge amounts. With the increase in population this system is unsustainable. Cultured meat has the potential to reduce many of this problems, for this planted and maybe the next.

 

Q: I heard about a couple of start-ups doing cultured meat, how are they making cultured meat.

A: There are indeed a few start-ups that are trying to make cultured meat. So far they have made some proof of concepts. However, the way the made this is not scalable or sutainable. To do this we will need to overcome a lot of big hurdles. What these hurdles are you can find out on our How to make cultured meat page

 

Q: Why isn’t the field of cellular agriculture well-funded?

A: Considering how impactful this work could be, it is surprising that there is not a lot of funding dedicated to research in this area. Cultured meat lies at the intersection of medical research and food / agricultural science. Expertise in tissue engineering comes from medicine. However, the argument is made that we are solving a environmental / agricultural issue. When we apply for a medical grant we get told that it would be inappropriate because we are not addressing a disease or medical issue. If we try to obtain an agricultural grant, the reviewers tell us that the methods that we want to explorer are too much focused on molecular science. It would be a waste if cultured meat stays a distant dream. The cultured meat foundation is trying to create opportunities for researchers to apply for grant and this way participate on their own.