Lab-grown meat is often seen as a way of feeding a meat-hungry world without the suffering of factory farms.
Maybe not. Many lab-grown meat products contain a lot of blood. Fetal bovine serum, or blood taken from unborn cow fetuses, is often used by them.
There are vital proteins needed to grow and replicate animal cells. It has the potential to create tasty lab-grown meat in a mostly slaughter-free way, but it is not clear whether that will be good enough for the entire market.
There are several issues for lab-grown meat companies. It still requires the death of an animal, which makes any product that uses FBS decidedly not vegan-friendly or slaughter-free, running counter to customer expectations.
The second issue is that it is expensive. It sells for over $1,000 per liter. According to Mother Jones, companies using the serum would need to sell their meat for $200,000 per pound just to break even.
Lab-grown meat companies are looking for an effective substitute for FBS. This presents its own set of challenges.
Christina Agapakis, the creative director at Ginkgo Bioworks, told the magazine that a whole new supply chain would need to be formed.
Despite its cost, many believe that creating a commercially-viable alternative to meat is still crucial to the problems facing the world due to climate change. Meat consumption is a big driver of greenhouse gas emissions.
The question is if scientists will be able to get there.
Mother Jones has a story about the "bloody secret" behind lab-grown meat.
Scientists grow the world's largest lab-grown steak.
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