Is artificial meat the new norm?

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A picture of two vertical triangles on a plain background. Over the triangles there is a pair of animated hands in surgical gloves that appear to be manipulating a small piece of red meat using dissection kit equipment including a pair of tweezers.

Could artificial meat be the new normal? Maybe your next burger will be lab-grown, or your next deli purchase will be fungi-based ‘pastrami’ on rye.

The meat industry is on the brink of major disruption.

Startups are developing innovative artificial meat products that offer the taste and texture of real meat – without the environmental impact of industrial animal agriculture.

When most people think of alternative meat products, they assume it’s plant-based. Joshua March, co-founder and CEO of SciFi Foods, is working on “electrifying the cow” by growing real meat from cells.

As Joshua explained, “We’re growing the cells in a bioreactor, which is a big steel tank. The end state is the ability to produce infinite amounts of meat from those cells”.

The SciFi Foods founder aims to build a full-scale commercial plant – capable of producing 100 million burgers a year – within the next few years. Joshua believes cultivated meat is the path to “completely replace animal agriculture”.

Prime Roots co-founder and CEO Kimberlie Le is taking a fungi-based approach. As Kimberlie put it, “You can actually replicate the identical microstructure textures of meat with mycelium”.

Prime Roots’ goal is ambitious: “To be in every deli counter, and every sandwich shop in the US and Canada, within the next few years”.

With several companies poised to launch artificial meat products commercially in the next year, we may soon witness these meatless options become the default choice for consumers.

SciFi Foods co-founder and CEO Joshua March, Prime Roots co-founder and CEO Kimberlie Le, and New School Foods founder and CEO Chris Bryson were in conversation with Toby Heaps, co-founder and CEO of Corporate Knights, on planet:tech at Collision 2023.

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