Lab-grown protein not going away

An analyst who studies agricultural trends says don’t expect lab-grown protein to go away despite its cost and setbacks. 

Doug Johnson studies all technology and trends affecting agriculture and tells Brownfield lab-grown protein has had setbacks by not living up to its promises and because of poor consumer reviews, but he says it’s quietly “swimming under the waves” and will resurface at some point.  “You can grow quicker on the farm than you can in a lab and it’s very, very costly, so everything they said their goal of doing, they’re not able to accomplish it yet.”

And Johnson says agriculture needs to keep telling consumers its positive animal welfare and healthy food story because they really don’t know what’s in the meat substitute and how the process might affect humans later.  “You have farm-grown or possibly lab-grown choices.  What is the difference?  And, we need to bring education full-circle to not just our ag industry but society and consumers as a whole.”

Johnson says lab-raised protein was supposed to use less land, less water, emit fewer greenhouse gasses, and be nutritionally equal to real meat, but so far, he says it has not met any of those goals and has disappointed consumers with its taste and texture.

AUDIO: Doug Johnson discusses lab-grown protein, artificial intelligence, and other issues with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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