Scientists at the University of Bath have grown animal cells on blades of grass, in a step towards cultured meat.
Growing meat on grass could have ethical consequences, such as vegans no longer being able to listen to Gardener’s Question Time. Vegans are arguing that you cannot eat cultured meat as, by definition, it is characterised by refined taste, manners and a good education. The meat, however, says it’s quite happy to be eaten, as long as the person consuming it wears a napkin and uses the right cutlery.
At Bath, they’re experimenting with something that’s entirely natural – grass. They’re growing rodent cells, which are cheap and easy to use, on scaffolds of grass, as a proof of principle.
If scientists can grow rodent meat cells on grass, then it’s theoretically possible to grow corn beef.
Scott Allan, a postgraduate student in chemical engineering, explained that the grass scaffolds are to grow the meat on so we have an edible scaffold that can be incorporated into the final product.
In the future, instead of getting your meat from inside a butchers, you’ll get your meat from inside a lawnmower.
This research was supposed to be confidential but it was impossible to keep it secret in a lab that contained both a rat and a grass.