Why lab-grown meat is far better than the meat we already eat
After the FDA approves lab-grown meat, it's time for critics to consider that it's far better than the meat we already eat.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration completed its first premarket assessment of Upside Foods, which grows meat from cells rather than slaughtered animals. It concluded that it had “no further questions” about the safety of how the company produces its chicken. Although Upside Foods still requires approvals from the Department of Agriculture before it can sell its chicken products in restaurants and supermarkets, it’s a monumental leap forward in creating a more ethical and healthy form of meat.
What these critics fail to realize is that there’s nothing “natural” about the vast majority of the meat already eaten in the U.S.
Not everyone, of course, is cheering for chickenless chicken. Cell-cultured meat has been the subject of suspicion from organizations working to protect human health, and even with the FDA’s preliminary approval, some remain unconvinced. For example, the Center for Food Safety called the FDA’s assessment “grossly inadequate” in a news release and called for “more research and more transparent data” before determining whether cell-cultured meat is safe for human consumption.
And some members of the general public, too, are squeamish about cell-cultured meat. Public opinion surveys have found that consumers, especially older and less educated shoppers, hesitate to accept cell-cultured meat as a viable food option.
Caution isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but these critiques of cell-cultured meat are just thinly disguised neophobia — people just feel it is “unnatural.” Cell-cultured meat indeed comes from labs, not farms. But what these critics fail to realize is that there’s nothing “natural” about the vast majority of the meat already eaten in the U.S.