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Scientists Want to Rebrand Lab-Grown Meat as “Clean Meat”

The Good Food Institute, which funds research into cultured and plant-based animal products, hopes to change consumer perception of lab-grown meat by rebranding it as “clean” food.
Photo via Flickr user bnilsen

"Clean meat" sounds like the latest fad to be touted by Deliciously Ella and her legions of acai bowl-flaunting devotees, promising to make your skin glow like you've been Tango-ed and set you on a path to lifelong #wellness. Or something those weird people who wash chicken do.

In actual fact, it's the term scientists developing lab-grown meat are trying to get us to use when referring to their products.


READ MORE: This Scientist Is Determined to Make Lab-Grown Burgers Affordable

Bruce Friedrich, creative director of The Good Food Institute, a US-based organisation funding research into cultured and plant-based animal products (similar to Impossible Foods), said in a blog post on Tuesday: "When we're discussing meat that's produced through tissue engineering, we've taken to using the term 'clean meat' rather than 'cultured meat.'"

This is because the producers of your tissue engineered burger or test tube chicken want you to forget about the lab it came from. Friedrich, who also spoke to MUNCHIES last month about the future of meat production, dismisses the term "cultured meat," claiming that it conjures images of petri dishes. "Although the process involves petri dishes and laboratories at the earliest stages," he went on to admit in the post, "clean meat production will happen in the equivalent of giant meat fermenters once it's at production scale."

And the laboratory bit? Friedrich added: "All processed foods start in a food laboratory, of course, but with clean meat, the end result is real, pure meat. Unlike much processed food, the final product is the same as the product produced in nature."

The Institute is also adopting the term to help relay the environmental benefits of clean meat.

WATCH: Watch Momofuku Cook Impossible Foods' Plant-Based Burger that 'Bleeds'

Friedrich explained that the company hopes to align their products with clean energy sources like wind and solar. It wants to promote the advantages of lab-grown meat as "free of antibiotic residues, totally transparent in its production process, and much better for the environment."

The wellness bloggers will totally jump on that bandwagon.