In vitro chicken in the gourmet restaurants of great chefs like Dominique Crenn and José Andrès in the United States, and now a butcher shop entirely dedicated to meat produced in the laboratory. The project is in the starting blocks in Canada.
In 2013, when the Dutch company Mosa Meat unveiled the very first burger incorporating a steak produced in a laboratory, we believed that this food innovation would long be a science fiction scenario, even if the superstar Leonardo DiCaprio invested in this research. Except that now everything is accelerating for this sector which is estimated to be worth nearly two billion dollars by 2028, according to a study by Ken Research.
A first butcher shop for meats obtained in the laboratory
While the United States Department of Agriculture approved the production but also the sale of chicken meat produced under a microscope at the beginning of the summer, it is Canada’s turn to salivate for this new section. The country of maple trees intends to become the very first in the world to house a butcher shop that only presents meat obtained in a laboratory to its customers.
The project is imagined by the brand The Better Butchers, launched by the founder of a plant-based alternative brand which went bankrupt at the start of the year in Canada. The entrepreneur’s name is Mitchell Scott and he aims to bring this new type of butchery to fruition within two years, he revealed to the specialist media Vegconomist. It is due to open in Vancouver.
Significant legislative obstacles
The challenge is obviously great since Canada has not yet approved either the production or sale of in vitro steaks or meat fillets. The head of the start-up intends to work alongside the Canadian authorities to obtain approval in a little over twelve months. At the moment, The Better Butchers is developing prototype pork sausages, meatballs and marinated steaks. The first results of this development should be devoured at the end of the first quarter of 2024.
A questionable ecological argument
But this is not the only problem to be resolved, there is also that of price. This is the challenge of this new market which requires high energy consumption as well as costly investments to set up the culture media necessary for the development of animal flesh produced in the laboratory. As for the ecological argument, brandished like a standard to justify the need to change one’s diet in favor of a steak under a microscope, a study from the University of Oxford released in 2019 revealed the limits of this argument, highlighting the production of methane generated by bioreactors. Remember that it is a much more polluting gas than CO2.