How close are we to a hamburger grown in a lab?

Story highlights

  • 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

(CNN)The latest craze in the food industry, in vitro or "clean" meat, is produced by extracting stem cells from animals and then growing and multiplying those cells in a lab to create a piece of meat.

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.