Is the world ready for lab-grown meat?

Do people want to eat lab-grown meat? A new study, for which I was a peer-reviewer, is the first to rigorously assess consumer interest in plant-based and “clean meat” (also known as lab-grown or cultured meat) in the US, India and China. The study found “high levels of acceptance” in all three countries and “significantly higher acceptance” in India and China, where 86% and 93% respectively reported being at least “somewhat likely” to purchase clean meat.

Chris Bryant, the lead author on the study in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, told me, “Across the world’s three most populous countries, consumers want plant-based and clean meat. The opportunities for innovators to change the meat industry in these countries are there.”

Companies are beginning to capitalize on these opportunities. Earlier this week, Motif Ingredients announced that it had raised $90m in funding, the largest Series A round ever for a food technology company. This makes Motif the largest company focused on cellular agriculture – the new industry creating animal products without animal farming. This is no surprise given Motif is a spin-off of Ginkgo Bioworks, a huge player in synthetic biology, and funded by organizations like Breakthrough Energy, which includes Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Vinod Khosla.

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