A Kill-Free Meat Product May Be Coming to a Grocery Store Near You

March 15th 2016

If you like meat but oppose the slaughter of animals, there's hope on the horizon. A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota developed a technique to produce kill-free, contamination-free meat products from harvested animal cells in under 21 days.

In an effort to provide an alternative to the large-scale industrial slaughter of animals, Dr. Uma Valeti and his team used animal cells that were able to renew themselves, supplied them with oxygen and nutrients such as sugar, and cultivated them into an edible product in nine to 21 days, The Huffington Post reports.

Besides sparing the lives of animals, Valeti says that the meat created in the laboratory has reduced saturated fat and the added benefit of being free of bacterial contamination. It's also better for the environment because factory farming is associated with increased emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization reports that approximately 56 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for human consumption each year globally, and that number is expected to double by 2050. A 2008 study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives pointed to a number of environmental concerns posed by the animal agriculture industry, including direct links to increases in carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

"The meat that we are growing is identical at the molecular and cellular level," Valeti told PTI. "Cultured meat will completely replace the status quo and make raising animals to eat them simply unthinkable."

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Valeti, who is also the CEO of Memphis Meats, a San Francisco-based company leading the product's commercialization efforts, hopes to roll out a line of kill-free beef, pork, and chicken products to restaurants in the next three years and have it commercially available by 2021. Their manufacturing facility is based in the U.S, but there are plans to expand out to China and India as well.

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