Lab grown meat promises to revolutionize the way restaurants think about “clean meats”. Most restaurants nowadays see clean meats as those which are bought and sourced locally and come from animals raised on a natural diet. With the invention of lab grown meat, the animal has become a secondary necessity. How will this affect the restaurant industry? Let’s take a look at a couple of ways.
- Cheaper products
Even though this technology is still in its infancy, lab grown meat has the potential to make food more cost effective for restaurants. Essentially, lab-grown meat is grown in vitro from animal cell cultures rather than produced from a slaughtered animal. When it was first developed, a burger with lab grown meat sold for nearly $300,000. Now, that’s down to $11. One Israel-based startup, Future Meat Technologies, says they hope to have the product for between $2.75 and $4.50 per pound by the end of this year. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, average beef prices in the U.S. hovering around $3.80 per pound, this animal-free alternative could save restaurants oodles of cash in the near future.
- Healthier menu items
Lab grown meat can be altered to have an impact on specific dietary and nutritional outcomes by altering the amino acids and adding certain vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds that meet or exceed the amount in natural meat. In layman’s terms that means you can have meat that is much healthier than store-bought meat. This gives you a wide array of options to bend your menu towards a more healthy pitch without sacrificing the dishes your customers love.
- Increased food safety
All restaurateurs are worried about salmonella. Just one outbreak in your restaurant can greatly debilitate sales for years to come. Lab-grown meat greatly reduces the chance of spreading animal-borne illnesses both through food and human contact. Many scientists also see lab-grown meat as a way to reduce the need for pesticides, according to an article by Food and Nutrition.
- Reduced environmental risk
Industrial production of animal byproducts has been shown to have serious impacts on our environment. Overproduction of meat endangers animal populations, increases the use of fossil fuels, and increases the risk of diseases such as E.coli. Livestock production currently uses nearly one-third of the world’s fresh water as well. By using lab-grown meats, restaurants can make a positive mark on the environment by helping to mitigate these dangers.