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Impossible Burger courtesy of Impossible Foods)
Impossible Burger (courtesy of Impossible Foods)

Experts hope calling lab-grown meat 'clean food' will make it seem less weird


Taste Test of World's First Lab-Grown Burger That Cost £215,000 to Produce

You've heard of lab-grown meat at this point. You might have seen this demo where it was made into a burger and taste-tested.

The lab-meat industry is already growing fast, but it has a bit of a naming problem. So experts hope calling it "clean food" will get more people on board.

Wait, what's this about lab-grown meat?

The premise is simple. For vegetarians, or people generally concerned with how bad factory farming can be for the world, eating meat is unethical. But many people find meat delicious. So what if that meat didn't come from killing a cow, but from a skin sample of that cow?

That's the premise behind lab-grown meat. There's one problem: It's really expensive to grow that sample into a burger. Anyone want to fork over $330,000 for a burger, per Wired's estimates?

It's important because words matter in how we describe how something makes a big difference. You can only make a first impression once.
Paul Shapiro, Humane Society of the U.S.

I'd be willing to try that!

That might put you in the minority. A 2014 Pew poll found only one in five Americans would like to eat meat grown in a lab instead of on the farm.

The solution: Calling lab-grown meat "clean" instead.

So how is that going to work, exactly?

The same way a lot of things work around D.C.: Lobbying! The "clean food" industry is already coalescing behind a trade group called the Good Food Institute, Quartz reports. It's citing research that shows kids eat more vegetables if they have catchier names like "broccoli bites" or "X-ray vision carrots."

So they're just fighting for lab-grown burgers?

Not quite. The GFI is also fighting to let "soy milk" be legally called milk and to let egg-free mayonnaise be called "mayo," according to Quartz.

Similar fights may be on the way soon, with milk-free yogurt coming in 2017 and plant-based Impossible Burgers already in the wild.

Would you eat lab-grown (sorry, "clean") burgers?

Introducing: The Impossible™ Burger

Wait, what's that about a plant-based burger?

Take a look for yourself.

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