Researchers at Harvard University are toying with new ways to create meat.
In a big step for the future of food, scientists have announced that they’ve grown rabbit and cow meat from an edible gelatin base for the first time ever, CNN reports. Scientists can grow the meat by extracting stem cells from animals, multiplying those cells in a laboratory and then — boom: bioengineered meat.
According to the study, published in the npj Science of Food, researchers have long struggled to mimic the stringy fibers meat is comprised of, one of the biggest challenges until now. Scientists adopted the process behind creating cotton candy and used “rotary jet spinning” to create fibers similar to the ones you’d find in meat. This is huge news because if done correctly, people could be eating this type of meat instead.
But don’t get excited just yet. Scientists still have a few kinks to work out before you’ll see this lab-grown meat in your local grocery store. It can take up to nine weeks to grow one patty, and scientists still can’t mass produce the meat. However, researchers are optimistic. “Moving forward, the goals are nutritional content, taste, texture, and affordable pricing. The long-range goal is reducing the environmental footprint of food,” Kit Parker, senior author of the study, said in a statement.
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t seem to have a problem with growing meat in a laboratory. "Given information we have at the time, it seems reasonable to think that cultured meat, if manufactured in accordance with appropriate safety standards and all relevant regulations, could be consumed safely,” the FDA said in a statement.