New Scientist

Make your own meat with open-source cells – no animals necessary

Engineered meat is taking on a new flavour as an entrepreneur aims to help people make animal-free meat at home, like brewing beer, by sharing cell cultures

IMAGINE producing meat at home without killing animals. With a few cells and a keg, the process could be no more complicated than brewing your own beer or pickling vegetables. That’s the vision of Isha Datar, the CEO of New Harvest, a non-profit organisation aiming to create everything from burgers to silk from cell cultures. “It’s like designing a new universe,” she told Hello Tomorrow, an event that brought together technology entrepreneurs in Paris last year.

Cultured meat isn’t a new idea but it has largely focused on mass-producing beef and pork. In 2013, the first tasting of a lab-grown burger in London grabbed headlines, but the showpiece cost €300,000 and took a year to create. The taste of the burger was described as intense, “close to meat but not as juicy“. Growing large quantities of meat from cells in a sustainable way is still far off. As Datar says, “there are so many breakthroughs required”.