The growing awareness of the harmful effects of animal farming on the planet has created the need for meats devoid of any animal suffering. Various companies across the globe are doing all kinds of experiments to create slaughter-free meat. There are broadly two types of experiments going on in this direction. One is making vegan meat also known as mock meat by processing plant proteins. Another one is making conventional meat in an unconventional by cellular culture. This has given rise to a new debate on Mock Meat and Lab Grown Meat.
Let’s understand what each means before getting into the real deal, Mock Meat and Lab Grown Meat.
- Mock Meat: Also known as faux meat, vegan meat basically plants proteins processed in a certain way, so that they mimic culinary properties (taste, smell, and texture etc) of meat.
- Cultivated Meat: It is also known as lab-grown meat or clean meat. It is like conventional meat, only grown in labs. It is cultured in labs using animal cells.
Hundreds of companies across the globe are building products that can be put in either of the groups. Mock meat, the plant-based meat industry is thriving, gaining traction and there is a whole bunch of plant-based meat products in the market. There are companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger, Sunfed Meats etc performing great globally. In India also there are companies like Vezley, Gooddot, and Plantmade etc operating in this domain.
Where the lab-grown meat category has not witnessed the launch of a widely accepted and popular product yet.
Now let’s try to understand their differences in more detail to find out which one is better for us.
- They are only made from plant protein and hence, do not contain any inflammatory compounds that animal proteins contain.
- There is a wide range of vegan meat products in the market in different categories like beef, chicken, turkey, sausage, salmon, tuna etc.
- Vegan Meat doesn’t contain animal fat and other harmful inflammatory substances that are found in animal-based foods.
- It requires much less land, water and resources for production. It is cruelty-free. No animals are slaughtered or exploited in the process.
- Lab-grown meat is made by in vitro cultivation of animal cells.
- Cellular agriculturists take a small sample of cells by swabbing a skin tissue, a feather, or any other body part.
- The cells chosen must have a rapid rate of multiplication like embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, or myoblasts.
- These cells are then placed into a growth medium, a nutrient-rich solution, in a controlled cultivator.
- In this atmosphere, the stem cells act as if they are still in the animal’s body. They proliferate quickly into high-density tissues.
- This results in a product that looks, feels and tastes like meat. Because it is biologically meat.
- Since it is biologically meat and made from animal proteins. It contains inflammatory substances that are present in animal-based food.
- It would have an adverse effect on health as any other meat products due to fat and other inflammatory substances.