Modern Meadow, a biotech startup, is working on 3D-printing meat for the masses, and with a big grant incoming, they seem to be well on their way. But will people want this? Our science fiction-conditioned brains are okay with synthetic meat, and our digestive systems can probably handle artificial substances, so nothing’s stopping this, right? All that’s left is the actual research and then ????, followed by profit.
The grant comes from from Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs, who will be giving $250,000 to $350,000 to Modern Meadow to develop an “edible cultured meat prototype that can provide a humane and sustainable source of animal protein.” Lindy Fishburne, Breakout Labs’ executive director, says:
Modern Meadow is combining regenerative medicine with 3D printing to imagine an economic and compassionate solution to a global problem. We hope our support will help propel them through the early stage of their development, so they can turn their inspired vision into reality.
They’re in the early stages, alright. Their research information on the United States Department of Agriculture website has plenty of ideas and planning, but no reports on their progress. However, Modern Meadow does have Gabor Forgacs, the man behind Organovo, as its chief scientist, so it probably knows what it’s doing.
At the moment, their goal is to print “a strip of edible porcine tissue.” Far from a juicy steakful of awesome, but we’ll see. Soon.