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8 Things You Should Know About Lab-Grown Meat

By Marissa Higgins

We all know that the food we eat affects our bodies, but more than that, it can also affect our environment. For those of us who consume animal products and byproducts, such as meat, dairy, eggs, or fish, we're likely aware that where our food comes from, how it's produced, and what conditions the animals live in can all impact the eco-system long-term. While buying free-range, local, or organic are all great ways to ensure that we're being kind to the planet with our purchases, it's not the only option we have for the future.

Scientists are currently working on lab-grown meat that has the potential to change the way we eat in a huge way.  This field is often referred to as "cellular agriculture," and it works like this: Scientists use biotechnology to create food we typically get from animals, such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, or milk. These products are not soy-based or nut-based like common vegan substitutes. Instead, they start with animal cells, but are created in the lab, not on the farm.

Awesome, right? Here's what you need to know:

1. Mark Post made the first lab-grown burger.

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Lab grown meat is definitely a recent invention, and in fact, hasn't reached the public market yet. Mark Post, of Maastrich University in the Netherlands, is credited with creating the first lab-grown beef burger back in 2013. It was made up of 20,000 individually grown muscle strands, all from the lab.