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Cell-based meat has gained awareness as an alternative to traditional meat products. Cell-based meat, also referred to as in vitro meat and artificial meat, is derived from the culture of muscle stem cells within a biological scaffold. The resultant product partially meets the definition of meat but additional criteria require consideration (Boler and Woerner, 2017). Proponents of cell-based meat argue that a reduction in environmental impacts can be achieved while meeting the increased consumer demand for animal protein in the diet (Post, 2012). Public perception of lab-grown meat remains skeptical, however, with concerns that it is an unnatural product and likely inferior to traditional meat (Laestadius and Caldwell, 2015). In this issue, Faustman et al (2020) provide a historical overview to the topic replete with challenges and opportunities. Bryant (2020) extends the discussion by examining the societal concerns and implications that underlie acceptance of cultured meat. These two papers provide new insight into the emerging science of cell-based meat.

The need to assess cell-based meat holistically

Credit: Journal of Animal Science, Volume 98, Issue 8, August 2020, skaa212, doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa212

Digital Credit:

Publisher: American Society of Animal Science

Rights: Name must appear as a credit whenever the image is used - Journal of Animal Science, Volume 98, Issue 8, August 2020, skaa212, https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa212

Description: Cell-based meat has gained awareness as an alternative to traditional meat products. Cell-based meat, also referred to as in vitro meat and artificial meat, is derived from the culture of muscle stem cells within a biological scaffold. The resultant product partially meets the definition of meat but additional criteria require consideration (Boler and Woerner, 2017). Proponents of cell-based meat argue that a reduction in environmental impacts can be achieved while meeting the increased consumer demand for animal protein in the diet (Post, 2012). Public perception of lab-grown meat remains skeptical, however, with concerns that it is an unnatural product and likely inferior to traditional meat (Laestadius and Caldwell, 2015). In this issue, Faustman et al (2020) provide a historical overview to the topic replete with challenges and opportunities. Bryant (2020) extends the discussion by examining the societal concerns and implications that underlie acceptance of cultured meat. These two papers provide new insight into the emerging science of cell-based meat.

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