The trillion-dollar meat industry is one of our greatest environmental hazards; it pollutes more than all the world’s fossil-fuel-powered cars. Global animal agriculture is responsible for deforestation, soil erosion, and more emissions than air travel, paper mills, and coal mining combined. It also, of course, depends on the slaughter of more than 60 billion animals per year, a number that is only increasing as the global appetite for meat swells.
In the laboratories of Silicon Valley companies, Dutch universities, and Israeli startups, visionaries are growing burgers and steaks from microscopic animal cells and inventing systems to do so at scale, allowing us to feed the world without mass-scale slaughter and environmental devastation that the animal agriculture industry in its current form produces. This is the riveting story of the entrepreneurs and renegades fighting to bring lab-grown meat to the world.
The stakes are monumentally high: cell-cultured meat is the best hope for sustainable food production, a key to fighting climate change, a gold mine for the companies that make it happen, and an existential threat for the farmers and meatpackers that make our meat today.
Are we ready?