Part 3: Everything you always wanted to know about Cultivated Meat – and beyond
16 February 2022
Cultivated meat does not yet fully exist on a commercial level and market introduction will happen stepwise, starting with specialised restaurants. It is currently at the pilot scale progressing towards up-scaled production, currently comprising more than 70 startups.
Are consumers ready to eat cultivated meat?
The acceptance studies of the past years show a worldwide positive attitude towards cultivated meat. The consumer groups with the most positive attitude towards cultivated meat are flexitarians or carnivores. A recent study on Belgian consumer attitudes indicates that different protein alternatives are needed. Taste and textures were the main barriers to plant-based meat alternatives for meat-eaters. The main motivations for meat-eaters to shift to cultivated meat were social goods such as avoiding animal suffering, minimising environmental impact, and mitigating global hunger.
Will cultivated meat be as nutritious as conventional meat?
Yes, it will be vital to pass the comparison with conventional meat. There are even opportunities to ameliorate the nutritional profile. However, cultivated meat developers still need to prove that their products are or will be as nutritious.
Is cultivated meat halal/kosher?
It could be, but at this point, there are no clear rulings yet. A lot will depend on the final production process that will need to be inspected by delegates from the religious communities. And it is very possible that there will be multiple contradicting rulings and religious labels, as is the case today for conventional meat.
Cultivated meat can be produced by a wide range of companies of different sizes, including local small-scale farms. Future scenarios can involve both large-scale facilities as well as small cultivators on rural farms as a complement to small-scale regenerative farming. For this to happen, it is important to make the production of cultivated meat accessible to SMEs.
While private investments have been crucial in pioneering research on cultivated meat, private investments need to be combined with public funding to expand the possibilities of small enterprises. It is important that public funding for open-access research is made available by governments and the EU so that the future development of cultivated meat production is not left in the hands of large companies but can reach its full transformative potential as part of a sustainable food system.
For more details, you can read our FAQ here.