The world is changing, and meat production is changing with it. But where many farmers are looking towards sustainable agriculture methods to limit their carbon footprints, there’s a new industry springing up around lab-grown meat. That’s what we’re here to talk about today, by taking a look at one of the companies leading the way in sustainable meat production: New Age Meats.
What Is New Age Meats?
New Age Meats is a startup that’s pioneering the use of cultured meats, combined with plant proteins, to make delicious meat products without the need to slaughter animals. Based in Berkeley, California, their small tech-savvy team of scientists is working towards making meat products that you can eat completely guilt-free! And with a unique process that uses both protein and fat cells, it seems that they’re extremely close to nailing the elusive flavor of real meat.
How Does New Age Meats Work?
The first step in making New Age Meats’ slaughter-free food is to start with tissue samples from a live animal. But instead of needing to kill the animal to produce meat, New Age Meats takes a tiny biopsy — a small and almost painless cut from a cow’s or pig’s flank — to work their magic. Eater has produced a wonderfully informative video explaining the process:
From this small biopsy, New Age Meats uses cutting-edge science to recreate the exact conditions for growth needed by those animal cells. Biologically, this produces the exact same sort of meat that we’d normally get from slaughtering an animal. And from initial taste tests, that meat is every bit as delicious as the ground beef you can find at your local grocery store. In one of the next sections, we’ll hear from the first reporters to try New Age Meats’ products.
New Age Meats’ Product Lines
Here’s the catch: Cultured animal meat is still in the process of being approved by the FDA. This means that for regular consumers like you and I, we’ll have to wait until culture meat products have received the go-ahead to be sold in stores.
Because of this, New Age Meats doesn’t have a dedicated listing for their product lines just yet. From the looks of samples that they’ve given journalists though, New Age Meats will focus on mixing cultured beef, pork, and plant proteins to produce sausages and ground meats. I would recommend signing up for the email list on their home page to stay up to date on their offerings as they become available.
How Do New Age Meats’ Products Taste?
To get a sense of how New Age Meats’ lab-cultured products taste, let’s turn to the expert taste testers from Business Insider. They were given a unique opportunity to be the first to try New Age Meats’ lab-grown sausage, and have these things to say about its flavor:
Spears and co-founder Andra Necula teamed up with Matt Murphy, a butcher and sausage chef, to get their recipe just right. Because the sausage casing they used was vegan, it was extra delicate — meaning Murphy had to be careful to avoid too much blistering, which could cause the links to break apart in the pan… the links contained spices like sage, ginger, and white pepper as well as vegetable stock and soy protein.
That’s sounding pretty great already! But how was the much-awaited first bite?
The flavor was smoky and savory. The texture was distinctly sausage-like. It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat.
That’s quite impressive, and a great endorsement for the future of lab-grown meats!
Where to Buy New Age Meats
Until the FDA has approved lab-grown meats for retail sale, we’re all in the same boat: Waiting to try these delicious and sustainable products. But even once the FDA has given their say-so for making cultured meats — which is rumored to be as early as this year — there may be additional hurdles to overcome. Namely, the cost of producing lab-grown meat is currently astronomical in comparison to traditionally harvested meat. But as New Age Meats and other startups continue to improve their processes, there’s a good chance that guilt-free meats will be available for a similar price as their grass-fed and organic counterparts.
In the meantime, get yourself signed up for New Age Meats’ email list. They’ll give updates as they’re available, and make you on of the first people in line to buy New Age Meats.