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posted by martyb on Monday September 27, @03:05AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the how-much-of-a-premium-would-YOU-pay? dept.

Lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable. The science tells a different story.

Splashy headlines have long overshadowed inconvenient truths about biology and economics. Now, extensive new research suggests the industry may be on a billion-dollar crash course with reality.

[...] [In March], the Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit that represents the alternative protein industry, published a techno-economic analysis (TEA) that projected the future costs of producing a kilogram of cell-cultured meat. Prepared independently for GFI by the research consulting firm CE Delft, and using proprietary data provided under NDA by 15 private companies, the document showed how addressing a series of technical and economic barriers could lower the production price from over $10,000 per pound today to about $2.50 per pound over the next nine years—an astonishing 4,000-fold reduction.

In the press push that followed, GFI claimed victory. "New studies show cultivated meat can have massive environmental benefits and be cost-competitive by 2030," it trumpeted, suggesting that a new era of cheap, accessible cultured protein is rapidly approaching. The finding is critical for GFI and its allies. If private, philanthropic, and public sector investors are going to put money into cell-cultured meat, costs need to come down quickly. Most of us have a limited appetite for 50-dollar lab-grown chicken nuggets.

[...] [Dr. Paul Wood] couldn't believe what he was hearing. In his view, GFI's TEA report did little to justify increased public investment. He found it to be an outlandish document, one that trafficked more in wishful thinking than in science. He was so incensed that he hired a former Pfizer colleague, Huw Hughes, to analyze GFI's analysis. Today, Hughes is a private consultant who helps biomanufacturers design and project costs for their production facilities; he's worked on six sites devoted to cell culture at scale. Hughes concluded that GFI's report projected unrealistic cost decreases, and left key aspects of the production process undefined, while significantly underestimating the expense and complexity of constructing a suitable facility.

[...] In fact, GFI was well aware of Wood's line of criticism. Several months earlier, Open Philanthropy—a multi-faceted research and investment entity with a nonprofit grant-making arm, which is also one of GFI's biggest funders—completed a much more robust TEA of its own, one that concluded cell-cultured meat will likely never be a cost-competitive food. David Humbird, the UC Berkeley-trained chemical engineer who spent over two years researching the report, found that the cell-culture process will be plagued by extreme, intractable technical challenges at food scale. In an extensive series of interviews with The Counter, he said it was "hard to find an angle that wasn't a ludicrous dead end."

Related:


Original Submission

Related Stories

Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality 24 comments

Scientists from the University of Missouri, the University of Maryland and the Animal Bioscience and Biotechnology Laboratory, US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service have published an article in Nature outlining a method for "generating skeletal muscle efficiently from porcine induced pluripotent stem cells (piPSC) in vitro thereby providing a versatile platform for applications ranging from regenerative biology to the ex vivo cultivation of meat". The research used a porcine stem cell line to generate muscular tissue instead of cells taken directly from a pig:

"What the paper describes is research designed to generate muscle from a newly established pig stem-cell line, rather that from primary cells taken directly from a pig," co-author Dr. Nicholas Genovese, a stem-cell biologist (and vegetarian), told Digital Trends. "This entailed understanding the biology of relatively uncharacterized and recently-derived porcine induced pluripotent stem cell lines. What conditions support cell growth, survival and differentiation? These are all questions I had to figure out in the lab before the cells could be turned into muscle."

Also at GlobalMeatNews.

Enhanced Development of Skeletal Myotubes from Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep41833) (DX)


Original Submission

Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years 16 comments

A company called Memphis Meats has announced that it has developed artificial/synthetic/lab-grown/cultured chicken and duck meat. The company's press release says it plans to sell cultured meat products to consumers as soon as 2021. Duck is identified as key to the mainland China market, which consumes more of it (over 6 billion pounds annually) than the rest of the world combined:

The quest for artificial meat inches forward—the company Memphis Meats announced today it has developed chicken and duck meat from cultured cells of each bird, producing "clean poultry." The firm provided few details, although participants at a tasting reportedly said the chicken tasted like, well, chicken. Below is a repost of a story originally published 23 August 2016 on some of the regulatory challenges and questions facing Memphis Meats and other companies pursuing artificial meats.

[...] So far, none of these synthetic foods has reached the marketplace. But a handful of startup companies in the United States and elsewhere are trying to scale up production. In the San Francisco Bay area in California, entrepreneurs at Memphis Meats hope to have their cell-cultured meatballs, hot dogs, and sausages on store shelves in about 5 years, and those at Perfect Day are targeting the end of 2017 to distribute cow-free dairy products. It's not clear, however, which government agencies would oversee this potential new food supply.

Historically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates meat, poultry, and eggs, whereas the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees safety and security for food additives. FDA also approves so-called biologics, which include products made from human tissues, blood, and cells, and gene therapy techniques. But emerging biotechnologies may blur those lines of oversight, because some of the new foods don't fit neatly into existing regulatory definitions. "Cellular culture raises a lot of questions," says Isha Datar, CEO of New Harvest, a New York City–based nonprofit founded to support this nascent industry.

To help provide answers, the White House last year launched an initiative to review and overhaul how U.S. agencies regulate agricultural biotechnology [DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6244.131] [DX]. And the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., is working on a broader study of future biotechnology developments and regulation, with a report slated for release at the end of this year. In the meantime, industry leaders are thinking about how their potential lab-based foods might be handled by regulators. One approach, they tell ScienceInsider, is to show that their product is similar to an existing product that testing has already shown to pose no hazards. "Most food regulation is about aligning new products with something that's already recognized as safe," Datar notes.

Related: Producing Beef has the Greatest Impact on the Environment Compared to Other Animal Based Foods
Real Vegan Cheese: Coming From a Yeast to You
Would You Try Silicon Valley's Bloody Plant Burger(s)?
Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality

Right now, manufactured meat is as real as a flying car.
- Anonymous Coward, 2014


Original Submission

Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson Backed Memphis Meats Expects Meat From Cells in Stores by 2021 39 comments

Submitted via IRC for takyon

Cargill Inc., one of the largest global agricultural companies, has joined Bill Gates and other business giants to invest in a nascent technology to make meat from self-producing animal cells amid rising consumer demand for protein that's less reliant on feed, land and water.

Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson, according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup's website. The fundraising round was led by venture-capital firm DFJ, which has previously backed several social-minded retail startups.

They made the first ever chicken and duck meat that were produced without the animals.

The company expects to have a product in stores by 2021.

"They're the leader in clean meat. There's no one else that far along," says venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, whose firm led Memphis Meats' recent $17 million Series A. Before he met Valeti in 2016, Jurvetson spent almost five years researching lab-grown meat and meat alternatives, believing the market was set to explode. "They're the only one that convinced me they can get to a price point and a scale that would make a difference in the industry," he says.

Cargill is the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue ($109.7 billion in 2017).

Source: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/10/cargill-bill-gates-richard-branson-backed-memphis-meats-expects-meat-from-cells-in-stores-by-2021.html

Previously: Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years

Related: Lab-grown meat would 'cut emissions and save energy'
Producing Beef has the Greatest Impact on the Environment Compared to Other Animal Based Foods
Real Vegan Cheese: Coming From a Yeast to You
Would You Try Silicon Valley's Bloody Plant Burger(s)?
Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality


Original Submission

'Soylent' Dawkins? Atheist Mulls 'Taboo Against Cannibalism' Ending as Lab-Grown Meat Improves 81 comments

'Soylent' Dawkins? Atheist mulls 'taboo against cannibalism' ending as lab-grown meat improves

What if human meat is grown? Could we overcome our taboo against cannibalism?"
- @RichardDawkins - 6:15 AM - 3 Mar 2018

https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/969939225180364805
https://archive.fo/kSmgi

"Lab-grown 'clean' meat could be on sale by end of 2018, says producer"
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/clean-meat-lab-grown-available-restaurants-2018-global-warming-greenhouse-emissions-a8236676.html

"'Soylent' Dawkins? Atheist mulls 'taboo against cannibalism' ending as lab-grown meat improves"
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/6/richard-dawkins-mulls-taboo-against-cannibalism-en/

and:

https://www.nationalreview.com/blog/corner/richard-dawkins-eating-human-meat-cannibalism-taboo/


Original Submission

Artificial Meat: UK Scientists Growing 'Bacon' in Labs 25 comments

Artificial Meat: UK Scientists Growing 'Bacon' in Labs:

Scientists at the University of Bath have grown animal cells on blades of grass, in a step towards cultured meat.

If the process can be reproduced on an industrial scale, meat lovers might one day be tucking into a slaughter-free supply of "bacon".

The researchers say the UK can move the field forward through its expertise in medicine and engineering.

Lab-based meat products are not yet on sale, though a US company, Just, has said its chicken nuggets, grown from cells taken from the feather of chicken that is still alive, will soon be in a few restaurants.

[...]Chemical engineer Dr Marianne Ellis, of the University of Bath, sees cultured meat as "an alternative protein source to feed the world". Cultured pig cells are being grown in her laboratory, which could one day lead to bacon raised entirely off the hoof.

Impossible Foods CEO Ponders Fake Imaginary Meat 60 comments

Impossible CEO says it can make a meat 'unlike anything that you've had before'

Plant-based meat products are bigger than ever, with the fast-food industry, grocery stores, and upscale restaurants coming on board. A recent Nielsen report found that plant-based meat alternative purchases went up 279.8 percent last week after Americans were instructed to stay home during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Impossible Foods, a company that develops plant-based meat products, says its mission is to someday replace the incumbent meat industry entirely, stating that, from a mission standpoint, a sale only has value if it comes at the expense of the sale of an animal-derived product.

But what if plant-based meat wasn't just a substitute for an already-existing marketplace, and instead, it started to make meat that has never existed?

On this week's Vergecast podcast, Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown talks to Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel about how this impossible meat could be a possibility in the future, even if it doesn't make sense for the company right now.

https://dilbert.com/strip/1992-04-08

Previously: Impossible Burger Lands in Some California Grocery Stores
Burger King Grilled by Vegan Over Impossible Burger "Meat Contamination"

Related: 'Soylent' Dawkins? Atheist Mulls 'Taboo Against Cannibalism' Ending as Lab-Grown Meat Improves
Meatless "Beyond Burgers" Come to Fast Food Restaurants
Swedish Behavioral Scientist Suggests Eating Humans to 'Save the Planet'
Discriminating Diets Of Meat-Eating Dinosaurs
Meat Industry PR Campaign Bashes Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
Unilever Pushing for Plant-Based Meat
Judge Serves Up Sizzling Rebuke of Arkansas' Anti-Veggie-Meat Labeling Law


Original Submission

KFC is Working with a Russian 3D Bioprinting Firm to Try to Make Lab-Produced Chicken Nuggets 66 comments

KFC is working with a Russian 3D bioprinting firm to try to make lab-produced chicken nuggets:

KFC is trying to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets, part of its “restaurant of the future” concept, the company announced. The chicken restaurant chain will work with Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to develop bioprinting technology that will “print” chicken meat, using chicken cells and plant material.

KFC plans to provide the bioprinting firm with ingredients like breading and spices “to achieve the signature KFC taste” and will seek to replicate the taste and texture of genuine chicken.

It’s worth noting that the bioprinting process KFC describes uses animal material, so any nuggets it produced wouldn’t be vegetarian. KFC does offer a vegetarian option at some of its restaurants; last year it became the first US fast-food chain to test out Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken product, which it plans to roll out to more of its locations this summer.

Bioprinted nuggets would be more environmentally friendly to produce than standard chicken meat, KFC says, citing (but not linking to) a study by the American Environmental Science and Technology Journal it says shows the benefits of growing meat from cells, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption compared to traditional farming methods.


Original Submission

Gen Z Not Ready to Eat Lab-Grown Meat 50 comments

ScienceDaily:

Gen Z are the new kids on the block. As a cohort of 5 million people born between 1995-2015 encompassing 20 percent of the Australian population and 2 billion people globally -- they're consumers to be reckoned with.

New research by the University of Sydney and Curtin University to published on 8 September in Frontiers in Nutrition, found that, despite having a great concern for the environment and animal welfare, 72 percent of Generation Z were not ready to accept cultured meat -- defined in the survey as a lab-grown meat alternative produced by in-vitro cell cultures of animal cells, instead of from slaughtered animals.

However, despite their lack of enthusiasm for the new meat alternative, 41 percent believed it could be a viable nutritional source because of the need to transition to more sustainable food options and improve animal welfare.

9 percent rejected cultured meat but accepted eating insects.


Original Submission

No-Kill, Lab-Grown Meat to Go on Sale for First Time 45 comments

No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time:

Cultured meat, produced in bioreactors without the slaughter of an animal, has been approved for sale by a regulatory authority for the first time. The development has been hailed as a landmark moment across the meat industry.

The "chicken bites", produced by the US company Eat Just, have passed a safety review by the Singapore Food Agency and the approval could open the door to a future when all meat is produced without the killing of livestock, the company said.

Dozens of firms are developing cultivated chicken, beef and pork, with a view to slashing the impact of industrial livestock production on the climate and nature crises, as well as providing cleaner, drug-free and cruelty-free meat. Currently, about 130 million chickens are slaughtered every day for meat, and 4 million pigs. Of all the mammals on Earth, 60% are livestock, 36% are humans and only 4% are wild.

[...] Eat Just already has experience in selling non-animal products, such as its plant-based egg and vegan mayonnaise, to consumers. Another company, Supermeat.com in Israel, has just begun free public tastings involving a "crispy cultured chicken".

Industry experts said other companies, including Memphis Meats, Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms, might do well in future as they were working on textured products such as steaks and were able to produce significant amounts of lab-grown meat from the start. Tyson and Cargill, two of the world's biggest conventional meat companies, now have a stake in Memphis Meats.


Original Submission

Singapore Approves a Lab-Grown Meat Product, a Global First 22 comments

Singapore Approves a Lab-Grown Meat Product, a Global First:

First, meat came from farms and forests. Then, it came from factories. More recently, entrepreneurs have been making it from plants.

Some have wondered whether there's a more advanced approach: Could meat be grown in a laboratory, from existing cells? That effort has faced multiple challenges, from skepticism over something that comes from a lab to questions about what governments might think.

The nascent laboratory meat industry won a small victory Wednesday on that last point, as an American start-up became the first to win government approval — in this case, an announcement by the city-state of Singapore — to sell the fruit of its labs to the public in the form of "cultured chicken."

The company, Eat Just, is based in San Francisco and describes its product as "real, high-quality meat created directly from animal cells for safe human consumption." Singapore's Food Agency said on Wednesday that it had approved the product for sale as an ingredient in chicken nuggets.

"This is a historic moment in the food system," Eat Just's chief executive, Josh Tetrick, said by telephone on Wednesday. "We've been eating meat for thousands of years, and every time we've eaten meat we've had to kill an animal — until now."

Singapore's move is "the world's first regulatory approval for a cultivated meat product," said Elaine Siu, the managing director of the Good Food Institute Asia Pacific, a nonprofit organization that promotes cultivated meat and plant-based substitutes for animal products.


Original Submission

Growth Industries: Lab-Grown Structures and Meats 28 comments

Stacking Sheets of Tissue Builds Better Lab-Grown Meat

Stacking sheets of tissue builds better lab-grown meat:

The idea of creating meat by cultivating animal cells rather than from the animal itself is an attractive proposition. Regarded as having a lower environmental impact than raising livestock, cultivated or lab-grown meat also avoids the ethical concerns that many people have about eating meat.

However, cultivating meat isn't like growing mushrooms. Meat is essentially muscle organs, which are a complex assembly of various tissues that have been exercised through the animal's lifetime to produce the right texture, consistency, and taste. In addition, it's not just a matter of what cells are present in the meat, but the ratio and distribution as well. This is why anyone who has eaten a well-marbled beef steak with a high fat content and then a very lean bison steak will certainly be able to tell the difference.

While some food engineers have been able to create cultured meat that resembles minced beef, minute steaks, and chicken nuggets, a greater level of control is needed to give cultured meat the full taste and feel of conventional meat. To put it another way, there needs to be much more control over producing the meat to required specifications.

[...] The method is derived from one that was originally developed to grow tissues for human transplants and involves producing sheets of cells in a nutrient medium, which are then concentrated in paper-thin layers on growth plates. These sheets are then peeled off and stacked or folded together, bonding to one another before the cells die.

As a result, the sheets can not only be stacked up as much as desired to create slabs of meat, but the percentage of fat and degree of marbling can be made to order in much the same way as the fat content of milk is controlled. In addition, the sheets can be cultivated in days and assembled in hours.

Journal Reference:
Alireza Shahin-Shamsabadi, P. Ravi Selvaganapathy. Engineering Murine Adipocytes and Skeletal Muscle Cells in Meat-like Constructs Using Self-Assembled Layer-by-Layer Biofabrication: A Platform for Development of Cultivated Meat, Cells Tissues Organs (DOI: 10.1159/000511764)

Lab-Grown Plant Tissue Could Ease the Environmental Toll of Logging and Agriculture

Could lab-grown plant tissue ease the environmental toll of logging and agriculture?:

Paris-Based Company Gourmey Hopes Ethical Lab-Grown Foie Gras Will Overcome Bans 58 comments

Paris-based Gourmey hopes ethical lab grown foie gras will overcome bans - EU Today:

The push to make foie gras, the fattened liver of a duck or goose, in a lab comes amid a push to find a sustainable, ethical alternative to meat raised for slaughter. Most foie gras is made by force-feeding ducks and geese through a tube to engorge their livers up to 10 times their normal sizes. The process can leave ducks too big to walk or breathe, according to animal activists.

[...] With growing opposition to foie gras because of animal cruelty concerns, Nicolas Morin-Forest, Gourmey’s co-founder and chief executive, said that producing the delicacy from cultivated cells was a way to preserve a centuries-old French culinary tradition.

[...] Gourmey engineers faux meat by taking cells out of a freshly laid duck egg and placing them into a cultivator. The cells are then fed with proteins, amino acids and sugar, similar to the nutrients a duck would get from a diet of oats, corn and grass. The cells are then harvested and transformed into foie gras in a process that uses significantly less land and water than traditional methods.

[...] Mr. Morin-Forest said that, on a technical level, foie gras was well suited to be grown in a lab precisely because of its delicate texture compared with other types of meat.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by HiThere on Monday September 27, @03:11AM (5 children)

    by HiThere (866) on Monday September 27, @03:11AM (#1181742) Journal

    You can't tell what changes will happen in the future. You can reasonably say "Our models project...", but your models contain specific assumptions that may not be valid. Always. One can't rule out wild developments, from nano-assemblers to new diseases that make growing animals hideously expensive. It may be reasonable to say "we give those chances a low probability", but that's a very different statement.

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:39AM (#1181755)

      One can't rule out wild developments, from nano-assemblers to new diseases that make growing animals hideously expensive.

      You can sweat handwaving as much as you want if this is what pleases you.

    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday September 27, @12:41PM (2 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Monday September 27, @12:41PM (#1181833)

      David Humbird's Scale-Up Economics for Cultured Meat: Techno-Economic Analysis and Due Diligence [engrxiv.org] is aiming at $25/kg and still struggles to break the barrier even when considering theoretically possible breakthroughs in the leveraging of low-cost plant protein hydrolysates (i.e. soy) which haven't been made yet but might happen and assuming that it might be possible to somehow workaround the need for white room level sanitary conditions. If you go beyond what current theory allows and start bending the rules, you'll start introducing processes that will just further upset the viability of cultured meat. e.g. take slurry and 3d printing: Karna Ramachandraiah's Potential Development of Sustainable 3D-Printed Meat Analogues: A Review [mdpi.com] suggests you can spray dry slurry, reconstitute into denser 3d printer canisters fills, and stack neat 3d printed lines to create meat-like textures. The problem is, of course, why wouldn't you do the same with cheaper egg albumin, whey powders, or even cheaper vegetable proteins like soy, pea or gluten?

      Then there's that $25/kg mark. If the bovine and poultry industries get pressured on the dollar, they won't just sit there with their thumbs on their asses. Most of them are 50 years behind technological development since limited land pastors, transportation costs and international tariffs and taxes on food imports guarantee a few key players a natural monopoly. Pressure that and they'll just update their practices and bring the costs down.

      And we haven't even mentioned fish and insect protein farms...

      Overall, in theory growing protein in tanks similar to beer fermentation is the most efficient way to go about food-grade protein production. But between costs, form, texture and alternatives, you'll need a lot of breakthroughs to get there. So, absolutely not by 2030. Surely not by 2040... Maybe by 2050?

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday September 27, @01:25PM (1 child)

        by HiThere (866) on Monday September 27, @01:25PM (#1181846) Journal

        Yes, that's a reasonable approach. I can't guess as to the accuracy of your timeline, but it might well be correct. Or it could stretch out over a century. OR it might actually never be possible. But making a guess as a guess with a timeline is a reasonable approach. You could even estimate probabilities, and it might well be reasonable. (I.e., they could have said "I don't think this will be practical within the current century", and while I might not have agreed, I wouldn't have said to myself "That's stupid!".)

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday September 27, @04:51PM

          by RamiK (1813) on Monday September 27, @04:51PM (#1181907)

          I wouldn't have said to myself "That's stupid!"

          You need to read the full article to realize just how nuts those marketing claims. You have multiple people from the industry itself telling you it's just insane to make claims about viability when they're still sorting out basic research while their opposition is telling them money is coming from governments and investment firms and they surely know what they're investing in... It's really at that level of stupid.

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          compiling...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:02PM (#1181913)

      You say that, but I know for an absolute fact that a computer will NEVER beat a human at Chess. The problem space is just too complicated.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:13AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:13AM (#1181743)

    > astonishing 4,000-fold reduction.

    If this actually happens, it'll be called Harland's Law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Sanders [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday September 27, @03:14AM (2 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday September 27, @03:14AM (#1181744) Journal

    Hmm, Is that a good place to start? May as well ask a cattle rancher what he thinks of lab grown meat.

    Don't know why we have to do it fast. Just keep it simmering on the back burner

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:36AM (#1181752)

      Hmm, Is that a good place to start?

      Yes.

      May as well ask a cattle rancher what he thinks of lab grown meat.

      The question was if the lab grown meat will ever get to a production price lower than animal farming.
      Asking a cattle rancher will not have answered this question.

      Don't know why we have to do it fast.

      We don't. The Vulture Capitalists do, they need their next unicorn now that the computing and IT can't deliver one.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @04:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @04:16PM (#1181895)

      I would say that lab grown meat is not that different from pharmaceutical manufacturing techniques.

      Much of pharma is done using "bio-reactors" where cultures of bacteria or other microbes are enlisted to produce the chemicals we seek, this process is probably one of the closest analogs to "lab grown meat" that exists at an industrial scale.

      So overall, I would say, this guy might well be the guy to talk to.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:16AM (#1181745)

    It can't be done.

    Not without people who spend more time finding solutions to technical and business problems than popping cherries.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:24AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:24AM (#1181747)

    ... they're nutritious, full of vitamins, requires only cellulose and a bit of nitrogen to grow, you can keep them in the dark...
    But they are definitely not patentable, so that's a nono for profits.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @07:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @07:46AM (#1181795)

      Taste like shit

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @02:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @02:15PM (#1181863)

      I've been trying vegan beef and chicken substitutes off and on for 20 years, and in the last few years I found some that are indistinguishable from good ground beef and real chicken. Not "adequate", not "almost as good as, but you can taste a difference", but "you don't realize it's not meat until someone tells you". I'm not naming the brands, because I'm not shilling for the companies.

      Right now the good vegan meat substitutes are expensive, but I'm 99% sure that's just due to low economies of scale at this volume and taking advantage of the fact that early adopters like me will pay premium prices. I expect the price of these vegan alternatives to reach levels that beef and chicken can't compete with in a cost-effective way, below $2/pound.

      To be clear, I'm not saying most meat substitutes you can get at a grocery store today are good. Half you will spit out immediately and most of the rest qualify as "barely edible". But soy-fake-chicken and wheat-fake-beef that actually taste good could become billion dollar industries, and some companies are putting serious work into grabbing pieces of the potential pie.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:28AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:28AM (#1181748)

    I forsee a time when you need to ask permission from an App to be allowed to make Beef Chili from a meat product with extensive I.P protections.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by FatPhil on Monday September 27, @05:17AM

      They're already starting to try and introduce Dietary Rights Management into smartcookers.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday September 27, @05:18AM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Monday September 27, @05:18AM (#1181775)

      The term "licensed chef" may well take on a different meaning in such a future.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:37AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:37AM (#1181754)

    Go away with your lab experiment.

    If you want sustainable farming, invest in sustainable farming.

    Or launch a few vegan cookbooks full of delicious food that people might actual want to eat instead of craving faux meat all the time.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @04:13AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @04:13AM (#1181761)

      Or do the research for a context where sustainable farming is impossible and your research becomes meaningful. For instance, colonization of Mars, for the long centuries needed to terraform it.
      Oh, wait, you started it a wee too early; by the time Mars colonization starts, your patents get to the stage of "scientific communication". Thanks.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:41AM (#1181780)

        Hi from Planet Earth.

        I don't want your lab-grown Martian food.

        Thanks.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by driverless on Monday September 27, @09:30AM

        by driverless (4770) on Monday September 27, @09:30AM (#1181804)

        For instance, colonization of Mars, for the long centuries needed to terraform it.

        Forget about colonizing Mars, we've been busy seeding the place with robots, before we know it the second variety will be coming to colonize us.

        Just for future reference, I would like to state that I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

    • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Monday September 27, @05:52PM

      by bart9h (767) on Monday September 27, @05:52PM (#1181929)

      I wholeheartedly agree with your second and third sentences, but I don't see the reason for the first one.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:40AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @03:40AM (#1181756)

    Remember how reusable rockets were supposed to be impractical because the extra weight penalty of building them strong enough to land and the extra propellant would mean no margin for payload? And that the closest to reusable, the space shuttle, took a year to refurbish after each billion dollar flight?

    Or before that, how the USA would need at most 5 computers?

    Or spending $80 to upgrade from 16k to 64k of ram?

    Or the beef industry saying nobody would buy a meatless veggie burger? And how they would never taste as good as real beef?

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday September 27, @04:44AM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 27, @04:44AM (#1181766) Homepage Journal

      Or the beef industry saying nobody would buy a meatless veggie burger? And how they would never taste as good as real beef?

      OK, I tried one, and it was a failure. Do you have any suggestions of a veggie burger that really is as good as beef? I'm sitting breathless, on the edge of my seat here . . . .

      --
      The only reason for not believing in it (Marxism) is that it doesn't work. - Thomas Sowell
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:44AM (#1181781)

        I quite like the some of the veggie burgers I've tried.

        None of the 'meat' variety, mind you. What is the obsession with making food from lentils and beans taste like animal flesh?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @02:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @02:55PM (#1181874)

        Millet, black bean, lentils, mushrooms, etc. can be better than beef in the hands of someone that knows what they're doing. Fake-meat will never be able to beat real meat, of course. 3D-printer beef might end up being better though?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @08:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @08:46AM (#1181800)

      Or the beef industry saying nobody would buy a meatless veggie burger? And how they would never taste as good as real beef?

      Good luck. Personally, I'd rather eat insects.

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday September 27, @10:22AM

      by driverless (4770) on Monday September 27, @10:22AM (#1181806)

      That was an issue of engineering and money. In this case you're running up against basic biological and physical issues that you can't engineer or buy your way around...

    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday September 27, @11:51AM

      by RamiK (1813) on Monday September 27, @11:51AM (#1181824)

      Remember how reusable rockets were supposed to be impractical because the extra weight penalty...

      Nope. The issue was the lack accurate gyroscopes and computation power. This was gradually solved around the the 70-80s. What wasn't solved was an economic model: Rebuilding a rocket is cheap and profitable so a reusable one only scales when you have a reason to go up to LEO for thousands of times. So, everyone in the field who could count with their fingers and toes figured it's just not going to happen and isn't worth their time. Then came Musk lying to congress selling them reusable LEO rockets with a story how he'll tie 'em like willy coyote and get to higher orbits. It was ridiculous and all the engineers reviewing it said the tolerances are impossible to pull off and they were right. But by then Musk got his contract. So now, congress is too heavily invested in this crap so they're going for some other crap that doesn't work to subsidize it like satellite internet (high latencies.. low bandwidth...), tourism (cause who doesn't want to pay $50k for 30min on a air plane?) and the all time classic and most ludicrous of them all, military expenditure.

      --
      compiling...
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @05:14AM (#1181773)

    narcotics, drugs, 9/11, nine, eleven, planes, plane, jet, city, state, county, nuke, icbm, cocaine, you, forgot, your, briefcase, nuclear, war, fbi, nsa, dhs, cia, linux, tails, journal, flash, bomb, stink, laser, flir, missile, guidance, mo, objective, complete, mission, final, game, stages, plot, plotting, plotted, thanks, for, the, cake, grandma, you're, welcome, dea, snow, candy, angel, dust, black, mamba, wikileaks, wiki, leak, leaks, leaking, leaked, c4, thermite, blow, up, explode, implode, thrash, chicken, goat, barn, pharmacy, target, targeting, targeted, individual, individuals, smart, dust, cocaine, pcp, marijuana, cannabis, bump, inject, injection, injected, exposure, time, half, life, multiplayer, online, whip, Taliban, middle, east, free, freedom, war, wars, warring, liquid, solid, gas, ferment, fermenting, fermentation, cooperation, stranger, strange, mustard, gas, agent, orange, muscle, muscles, build, building, built, erect, erecting, erected, penis, cow, pig, two, weeks, pussy, vagina, penis, anus, robot, robotic, blood, bloody, lust, shower, napalm, skin, skinned, skinning, primary, lock, locked, good, to, go, extreme, xtreme, caffeine, overdose, heroin, poppy, opium, codeine, morphine, snort, snorting, snorted, needle, needles, fire, firing, fired, location, qr, code, gps, sat, comsat, com, comm, hack, hacking, hacked, pwn, pwned, 31337, 1337, computer, computing, computed, computation, computations, cock, sucker, just, the, tip, cmon, mang, wash, washing, washed, tower, towering, towered, ditch, hole, Korean, Vietnam, Vietnamese, Chinese, rice, noodles, supreme, there, can, only, be, one, Japan, Iraq, big, bada, boom, nigger, niggers, niggerlicious, cracker, ass, mother, fucker, fuck, fucking, fucked, mines, ied, ieds, dig, trench, bazooka, tank, ammunition, ammo, ninja, popular, terror, terrorism, freddy, who, gives, a , fuck, what, you, think, nightmare, on, elm, street, part, three, monkey, monkeys, twelve, army, of, flaccid, van, sex, vanned, extradite, extract

    Thanks, Grandma!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Monday September 27, @05:21AM (8 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Monday September 27, @05:21AM (#1181776)

    Face it. People don't care that it's meat. They don't salivate over the idea of a cow having to die for their steak. What they care about is flavor and texture.

    Produce something with at least similar qualities and aside of a few idiots who are the food equivalent of audiophiles (aka "I can taste what it is provided I know it first") people won't give a fuck. People will not really care where it comes from. Whether you grow it in a vat, whether it's processed insects or whether it 's full vegan, as long as it tastes and chews like a steak, they'll be happy.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by FatPhil on Monday September 27, @07:35AM (7 children)

      I once accidentally had a beyond burger that was so disgusting I took it back and complained. The aroma was wrong. The texture was wrong. The taste was wrong. It was just plain wrong.

      So there's a long way to go.

      I say "accidentally", because I'd ordered a real burger, and there'd been a kitchen mixup that was only discovered after my complaint. We do not know whether some virtue-signalling vegan got to shove some dead animal carcass down her gullet as the flipside of this mistake.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday September 27, @01:42PM (1 child)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 27, @01:42PM (#1181856) Journal

        I've tried Beyond Burgers and Impossible Burgers and other vegetarian imitations. They're not bad, but they're also not the same. When you get a good burger made with quality meat, your taste buds chime in harmony with a universe where everything is right and good.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Monday September 27, @05:03PM

          Oh, absolutely. One of my tests for a pub is the quality of their burgers. Through many hundreds of generations we have evolved to be attuned to such tastes and recognise them as good sustenance. It's very hard to fight that.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @02:21PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @02:21PM (#1181865)

        Beyond Meat burgers are edible, barely. Most other attempts at beef replacement are the same, or worse. But the Impossible Meat burgers are good, period. Someone swapped one in on me at a meal and I didn't notice. I'm not kidding. Once I knew how good it tastes, I started using Impossible Meat for burgers, chili, and tacos and when I periodically use high quality real ground beef instead, it doesn't taste better.

        Likewise for chicken, most of the vegan alternatives are awful and a few reach edible but not much further. But some of them are flat out good, too. You can still notice a difference in the chicken replacements, but the right brand of vegan chicken nuggets is indistinguishable from the real thing (probably because the companies that mass-produce nuggets have been padding their product with fillers anyway).

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @07:02PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @07:02PM (#1181951)

          The one issue with Impossible burgers is that the only reason to use them is if you want to go "cruelty free."

          The health benefits of going vegetarian apparently went out the window. Apparently, when you try to imitate meat, you end up making stuff that is as unhealthy as meat, go figure.

          That said, if cruelty free is your thing, then go nuts.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, @02:11PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, @02:11PM (#1182214)

            Cruelty-free is part of it, but my bigger reason is environmental. On the order of 80% of the crops grown in the US are grown to feed livestock, which are then killed and fed to people. All of the other food - bread, pasta, rice, apples, oranges, pears, almonds, walnuts, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms - is grown on the last 20%. So if someone waved a magic wand and made the entire US vegan tomorrow, it would cut the amount of land we need to farm by around 70%.

            Now, chickens are one of the most resource-efficient forms of livestock. You get a big cruelty reduction but small resource savings cutting chicken consumption. But cows - and beef is my favorite meat - are the worst. The cheapest and easiest thing an individual can do to cut their personal contribution to global warming is cut their beef intake. Even if you just switch to chicken, it's a big deal.

            I know I sound like a shill for the vegan beef replacement companies. Please do your own research and your own taste tasting. I think the Impossible Meat is delicious.

            In terms of health, I'm J Random Internet Jackass but the latest stuff I've read is that total calorie intake matters more than composition. I have a big serving of cucumbers or celery with dip, or a huge salad with a low calorie dressing, or a mushroom, zucchini, and tomato stir fry, or just some sliced tomatoes with salt, or four cups of strawberries (which is a lot of food but only 200 calories) and then when I'm mostly full from that I have a single medium portion of beef (or equally high fat Impossible Meat). I'm not hungry between meals, and I'm losing fat. Whether I'll be able to keep eating this way for the next few years is the million dollar question.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, @10:48PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, @10:48PM (#1182961)

              I think that this is an elaborate troll, but I'll try to give it a serious response.

              "Cruelty-free is part of it, but my bigger reason is environmental."

              OK, sure, you care about cruelty and the environment. So do all of us, with a narrow exception for psychopaths. Moving on...

              "On the order of 80% of the crops grown in the US are grown to feed livestock, which are then killed and fed to people."

              I have no idea where you get this number. It bears no resemblance to reality.

              https://www.treehugger.com/land-contiguous-us-used-feed-livestock-4858254 [treehugger.com]

              That tells us it's more like 40% of US land used for grazing - and that includes unimproved, non-arable rangeland.

              If you're talking specifically grain production, it's more like https://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat [cornell.edu] 50% of grain (which is only a part of the bigger crop picture), and a large part of that is because prices are out of kilter anyway.

              All this completely invalidates what follows:

              "All of the other food - bread, pasta, rice, apples, oranges, pears, almonds, walnuts, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms - is grown on the last 20%. So if someone waved a magic wand and made the entire US vegan tomorrow, it would cut the amount of land we need to farm by around 70%."

              A classic case of GIGO. Not only are your numbers laughably off-base, the type of nutrition is not simply equivalent. If you think that it is, why don't you chow down on alfalfa for a few weeks and then let's have an endocrinologist check you out? Spoiler alert: it's not going to be great.

              "Now, chickens are one of the most resource-efficient forms of livestock. You get a big cruelty reduction but small resource savings cutting chicken consumption. But cows - and beef is my favorite meat - are the worst. The cheapest and easiest thing an individual can do to cut their personal contribution to global warming is cut their beef intake. Even if you just switch to chicken, it's a big deal."

              This would have been valid (given a ton of false assumptions about the nature of the carbon burden of various meats, by-products, farming practices and so on) if there were absolutely no other reason to keep animals. Unfortunately, there are, and this goes double if you want to spare the carbon because many of the reasons for which we burn carbon on farms or in support industries (such as shipping of crops and inputs, and production of fertiliser) are precisely those factors that we would replace with animals (or were you planning on hauling my crops to market for me by bicycle?) and this means that animal agriculture is very much here to stay. And if you have them, you might as well eat them, or did you want to bury every one in a solemn ceremony while a single tear rolls down your cheek in the evening light?

              "I know I sound like a shill for the vegan beef replacement companies. Please do your own research and your own taste tasting. I think the Impossible Meat is delicious."

              No, shills generally have their facts better lined up. You just sound ignorant.

              "In terms of health, I'm J Random Internet Jackass but the latest stuff I've read is that total calorie intake matters more than composition."

              Which is why scurvy, beri-beri, pellagra and rabbit starvation are filthy lies promoted by Big Ag. ... oh, wait.

              " have a big serving of cucumbers or celery with dip, or a huge salad with a low calorie dressing, or a mushroom, zucchini, and tomato stir fry, or just some sliced tomatoes with salt, or four cups of strawberries (which is a lot of food but only 200 calories) and then when I'm mostly full from that I have a single medium portion of beef (or equally high fat Impossible Meat). I'm not hungry between meals, and I'm losing fat. Whether I'll be able to keep eating this way for the next few years is the million dollar question."

              In other words, you have a fairly balanced diet. That incorporates beef.

              Let's keep this real: you have not presented a path to animal-free agriculture. You have not presented a path to reduced-carbon agriculture. You handwave away serious questions about the real-world nutritional balance of how you'd replace meat in the world's diets, and you expect us to take you seriously?

              Try this on for size: study some real-world agronomy first, figure out how much _pure vegetable_ intake you'd need to replace meat (hint: if you're not doing your sums on the nitrogen cycle, your work is garbage) and how much land you'd need for that, then get back to us. Until then, keep eating that Impossible Meat, buddy!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, @03:43PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, @03:43PM (#1182787)

            Apparently, when you try to imitate meat, you end up making stuff that is as unhealthy as meat, go figure.

            Really? Is it as inflammatory as beef? e.g. did they really put similar concentrations of Neu5Gc into their burgers?

            https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2019-09-23-strip-steak-bacterial-enzyme-removes-inflammation-causing-meat-carbohydrates.aspx [ucsd.edu]

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @06:52PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, @06:52PM (#1181948)

    It's not just about meeting a target for price.

    You have to look at the meat supply side. For example, every dairy operation is a churning supply line for meat. Why? Because cows are mammals and the reason for lactation is that they gave birth. A cow gives birth to a calf, then produces milk for a matter of months, then has a rest to regain condition, then calves again ... and what do you do with the calves? Some of them (fewer than half the heifers) can go back into the dairy pipeline, and a tiny minority of bull calves may be kept (actually, that's not really how that happens because of the way that we use bull semen these days, but the point stands that most bull calves are undesirable) so there you are; the rest are steak and leather waiting to happen.

    Until we decide that we don't want dairy any more, the meat industry is here to stay, and the prospects of kicking dairy out ... uh, yeah.

    So all this is really about is pushing the price of beef on your plate down to pretty much dogfood levels, and given the prices of the high grade, uncontaminated, high purity inputs that will be feeding your cellular slurry, compared to cattle eating scrub and drinking from creeks, after having been born as a byproduct of a separate industry? Good luck.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, @02:16PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, @02:16PM (#1182216)

      I believe most mammals keep lactating after birth as long as their nipples are sucked enough each day. So a cow doesn't need to keep giving birth to keep lactating. The farmers still breed them to get the next set of dairy cattle, but they don't have to breed them as soon as a normal calf would stop nursing.

      I could be wrong. I just know that there are bizarre cases of women that breastfeed their kids until age 8. The lactating doesn't stop because a child is too old, it stops because the child switches to other foods.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, @02:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, @02:42AM (#1182556)

        You're right (for some breeds), but that's not the problem.

        The quality of the milk changes for the worse, and the physiological drain on the cow is way too punishing. Making milk is a biologically very expensive activity. If you want the cow to regain condition (which you do) and you want the quality of the milk to be good (which you do), you let her rest and breed her again later.

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