- The creation of in vitro, or "clean," meat involves extracting stem cells from animals
- The extracted cells are grown and multiplied in a lab to create meat
- Experts' conservative estimates say clean meat will on store shelves by 2021
The cells "start to divide and start to form new muscle tissues. ... (We) let them proliferate until we have trillions of cells," explained Dr. Mark Post, CEO of Mosa Meats, one of the earliest creators of clean meat. The process of making a hamburger patty takes about nine weeks.
It's the same technology that's being utilized in the medical field to repair organs. said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO of another clean meat manufacturer, Memphis Meats. "At my own cardiology practice, I used stem cells in a clinical study to repair damaged heart muscle," he said.
But how does it taste?
To achieve public acceptance, industry leaders agree, in vitro meat must taste the same as, if not better than, conventional meat. Bruce Friedrich, co-author with Kathy Freston of "Clean Protein: The Revolution That Will Reshape Your Body," has tried chicken and duck from Memphis Meats and concludes that these products "both look and taste identical" to traditional meat.
Paul Shapiro, author of "Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World," has tried clean meat versions of beef, duck, fish, foie gras and chorizo and said they "taste like meat because they are meat."