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Making tasty food in the lab


Thinking of meat and fish being made in the lab might not whet the appetite but it will be an important part of creating a sustainable food system for the twenty first century.

With the global population set to reach 10 billion by the middle of this century and resources dwindling, something has to give. The way things have been done will no longer do.

Step forward the food disruptors. The pioneers producing meat and fish from plants and stem cells.

Biotech Finless Foods, for example, is a young American company established by a pair of biochemists who first met at  the University of Massachusetts. Michael Selden and Brian Wyrwas are using stem cells from living fish to make fish meat. They say, with over half the world’s fish stocks exhausted, and demand increasing, solutions like theirs are vital.

Impossible Foods and Memphis Meats are two other US companies in the vanguard of this new food revolution. Memphis Meats uses animal cells to make chicken and beef.

“We aim to produce meat in a better way, so that it is delicious, affordable and sustainable,” said Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats.

And Impossible Foods is making meat and dairy products from plants. Its popular burger is good news for the environment, as it needs around 95% less land than meat from cows, uses 75% less water and creates 87% fewer green house gasses than it its meaty rival. Importantly, the burger is also passing the taste test.




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