Work is progressing to determine the factors that will enable large quantities of meat to be grown in a bioreactor. Scientists routinely grow small quantities of muscle cells in petri dishes for experiments. Currently the cost of producing one pound of in vitro meat runs anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. The cost could be brought down to about $1 per pound by using nutrients from plant or fungal sources and scaling processes to an industrial level.
If successful, artificially grown meat could be tailored to be far healthier than any type of farm-grown meat. It’s possible to stuff if full of heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, adjust the protein or texture to suit individual taste preferences and screen it for food-borne diseases.
Doctoral student Jason Matheny notes “Cultured meat isn’t natural, but neither is yogurt”
A real life approximation of CHON food factories is about 5-10 years away. In the science fiction book, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederick Pohl, there are efficient space based factories for turning carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen into food.
Success here would bring item five on the list of five inventions that we still need far closer to reality. The ability to convert raw material directly into food. Factories for meat, plants (hydroponics), yogurt etc…
Other transitional future food technology:
Ocean fish farming
NOTE: all different kinds of meat should be produceable in the bioreactors including fish meat. Different stem cells would need to be used.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.