We may be able to enjoy all of our bacon-laden products without slaughtering any pigs in the future.
New research that was just published in the acclaimed scientific journal Nature made huge steps in the development of cultured (or lab-grown) pork products. Researchers were able to extract pig cells and naturally activate them to grow into specific muscle/meat tissues, which could include pork belly.
Additionally, the scientists were able to develop a cultured medium for the cells to grow on, meaning that TWO huge steps forward in the production of cultured pork were performed in a single study. Incredible.
Research around cultured meat products has been growing in recent years as consumers and scientists look to alternative forms of protein to feed the planet. Conventionally raised animals are unsustainable to continue to produce without exhausting the world's natural resources.
The big question with cultured meat lies in the texture and acceptability of the final product. Memphis Meats has been doing well so far with the reception to their cultured beef meatball and fajita meat.
When it comes to bacon and other pork products, however, it's unsure if consumers would be willing to try bacon "grown out of a petri dish". It would be perfectly similar to bacon taken from a slaughtered animal, and ethically more appealing to consume since no animals would be killed. PETA is even funding research to help make these cultured ethical meats happen, according to the Kansas City Star.
Personally, I would rather eat that clean meat to help make the planet a better place. That, however, might be different from how you feel.
So, would you eat bacon if you knew that it was grown in a lab and didn't come from a slaughtered pig? What's your take on cultured "clean meat?"
We'd love to get that discussion started.