Meat is murder! Or does it have to be? A company called Memphis Meats has recently created a beef meatball that has been grown in a lab, meaning that no animals were harmed in the making of the dish. And no, we’re not talking about fake meat made from soy/tofu that are sometimes used in vegetarian dishes, this is real meat.

Memphis Meats co-founder Uma Valeti came up with the idea when he used to be a cardiologist, where he pondered about a world where we would have meats that were actually healthy and beneficial. “What if we could grow meat to be protein packed and lean, and only have the fats in there that are beneficial for us?” he asked himself, which led to this project.

How does this work? Basically it follows the same concept as stem cell research for human tissue, except with animals. It involves taking the stem cells of any animal, like a cow or pig, multiply them in a petri dish that contains nutrients, and grow them into muscle tissues that are edible, or like what you might find in a supermarket.

Of course before you get too excited about eating healthy, lab-grown meat, there are things that need to be ironed out first. Cost would be one of them. The meatball you see in the video above costs $40 per gram to produce, meaning that for a one-ounce meatball, it would cost a little over $1,100.

The team is hoping to eventually bring that cost down to $5 per gram, which is still mighty expensive, but hopefully as the technology catches on and becomes more widespread, it will become cheaper. According to Valeti, “Our goal is that 50 years from now, people will look back at the idea of killing animals for food as laughable.”

Filed in General. Read more about f&b and Science.

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