MIT Technology Review

Meet the Test-Tube Turkey That Costs $34,000

By 2030, we may be gobbling turkey meat grown in bioreactors.

This Thanksgiving, Paul Mozdziak will be giving thanks that people are finally paying attention to his big idea.

He wants to grow turkey meat in 5,000-gallon tanks.

Mozdziak is an expert in growing avian muscle cells in a lab flask. That obscure corner of research recently landed the North Carolina State University professor of poultry science at the cutting-edge of “cellular agriculture,” or the idea that animal protein could be manufactured in bioreactors rather than by animals.

The technology, also known as in vitro meat cultivation, may sound strange. But it has been drawing a following of environmentalists, animal-rights activists, and investors who think meat can be made by biotech companies rather than on farms.

“Years from now, when people are [in] the grocery store trying to decide if they want to buy traditional versus cultivated meat, I am 100 percent sure that cultured meat is going to be just as cheap, if not cheaper,” says Mozdziak.