‘Clean meat’, which uses cruelty-free processes to create a realistic alternative to meat from animal cells, has been named a disruption to meat markets around the globe. CNN is calling it the “latest craze in the food industry”, and now, it seems the FDA is also supporting the innovative idea.
Clean meat is a cruelty-free alternative to meat, made from the cells of living animals. Scientists extract stem cells from animals (like a swab of the ear or feather) and then cultivate them in order to form new muscle tissues. In a video detailing the process, vegan company JUST said: “For those very first cells, it was important to us how we got the cells.” Thus, the team chose one chicken (who is named Ian, if you were wondering), and waited for him to naturally drop a feather. The team then used the single feather to extract and create cells in a lab, eventually producing entire pieces of real meat.
The result is a food that looks, feels and tastes like — and technically is — meat. The important difference, however, is that no animals were killed in the making of the product.
Post told CNN that the “lengthy regulatory approval process” is one of the factors that has delayed the launch of clean meat products. However, it seems that the Food and Drug Administration is open to the idea of a clean meat future.
According to CNN, the FDA stated: “Given information we have at the time, it seems reasonable to think that cultured meat, if manufactured in accordance with appropriate safety standards and all relevant regulations, could be consumed safely.”
Research Director Jacy Reese shared the quote on social media, naming it the “first public FDA statement on cultured meat”. He added: “This bodes well for animal/environmental advocates and meat producers who want to switch their production methods”.
Further, some say that the innovative product may be even safer than meat consumption, and could “help reduce foodborne illness”, CNN state. Post told the publication: “The meat that we produce is by definition sterile”. CNN also noted: “Most contamination of our current meat supply happens during the slaughter process through cross-contamination with the intestines”.
Forty-eight million people become sick from foodborne illness every year, CNN pointed out: “Clean meat does not involve slaughter and therefore does not involve cross-contamination,” thus virtually removing the risk from our food system.
Additionally, the publication reflected that clean meat “may also be healthier for our waistlines”. Post told CNN that clean meat can be produced with or without certain factors normally present in traditional meat. For instance, clean meat can be produced to contain healthy fats, such as omega-3s or to reduce saturated fat levels.
Clean meat benefits more than the animals and our health; the production of this food can use just one percent of the land and water required for traditional meat production.
Image Credit: Memphis Meats