This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

April 25, 2018

Inventing Clean Meat

Meat consumption in the United States and elsewhere is at an all-time high. Imagine satisfying that growing demand for meat without killing any animals? Worldwide, traditional animal farming accounts for about 18 percent of greenhouse emissions, uses 47,000 square miles of land annually, and exhausts 70 percent of the world's water.

Clean Meat defined
Given that technology is moving forward at a breakneck pace, it is not surprising to see the imminent appearance in stores and restaurants of meat that is lab-grown (or brewed)---sometimes called "clean meat". (In the past, we have called "clean food" nourishment that was free of herbicides, pesticides, and GMOs).

Growing meat without killing animals
With the growing world population, there is a serious challenge---raising enough animals to satisfy growing global demand. Made from stem cells harvested via biopsy from living livestock, in vitro animal products, or clean meat, may be grown in the lab in a matter of weeks.

Real animal protein
According to Paul Shapiro, author of the groundbreaking book Clean Meat: How Growing Meat without Animals will Revolutionize Dinner and the World (Gallery Books 20??), "Clean meat isn't an alternative to meat; it's real, actual meat, grown (or brewed!) from animal cells, as well as other clean animal products that ditch animal cells altogether and are simply built from the molecule up".

Companies in the clean meat space
Several entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are working diligently to bring flavorful clean meat products to market. Memphis Meats, Just, Impossible Meats, SuperMeat, and Mosa Meat. Memphis Meats is supported by Tyson Foods, Bill Gates, the food giant Cargill, and even Sir Richard Branson.

Other positive consequences
According to former US Secretary of Health & Human Kathleen Sebelius Services, "the cellular agricultural revolution helps lower rates of foodborne illness, greatly improves environmental sustainability, and allows us to continue to enjoy the food we love".

Not everyone is a fan
Similar to the dairy companies fighting soy milk producers over what can be called "milk", the US Cattlemen's Association (USCA) filed a petition to the USDA contending that lab-grown meat startups should not be able to call their products "meat". Unfortunately for the USCA, recently the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) asked the USDA to regulate the startups as if they were traditional meat producers.

Expect to see clean meat on menus
The Just company might be the first to get its meat into restaurants, having said last year its clean chicken nuggets, sausage, and foie gras could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia "before the end of 2018". Others, including Memphis Meats and Mosa Meats, say they will start offering their products to the public in 2021. In the future, we anticipate seeing clean versions of other animal proteins, specifically fish, shrimp, and lobster.

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