How Is Beef Different Than Lab Meat?

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex, (KBTX) “Ultimately what the cultured lab meat is producing is really what they would call meat is protein, but not necessarily a steak or a hamburger or anything like that. If you take a look at that it’s really kind of marvelous how a beef animal has the structure and is able to put together the amino acids, the iron, the zinc, the minerals that are found in what we call a nutrient dense food, and put all that together in one package.”

Hale says that beef animals do this in a fairly economic way with the forage resources we have all around us.

“And where the cultured meat is just, right now a glob of protein unless you figure out a way to make it into a structure or put a structure around it that you grow those cells on, to make it look like a steak or make it look like a hamburger. And then at the same time, you’ve got to add to that some of those other ingredients that you would naturally find in a beef product.”

Hale points out that a hunk of lab protein will not taste anywhere near the same as a steak.

“Because when an animal eats they incorporate those flavors into the fat inside the meat product itself and in that marbling is the flavor much of us really have learned and grow to appreciate in that steak. So if you’re just eating the protein, all you’re really doing is getting the protein flavors you’re not getting all the added flavor so you’re going to have to add flavoring or some sort of seasonings and maybe beef broth or something to give that same type of flavor. It maybe still can’t really replicate it as you can in the natural sense as you raise cattle.”