An emerging industry with more than 150 new businesses is working hard to make meat alternatives that taste, feel, and cost like regular meat but without needing to raise or kill animals. These companies are using cell biology to tackle the problems caused by making meat and to meet the growing demand for protein worldwide. Places like Israel, California, and Singapore are becoming popular for this kind of work.

Despite some people historically loving to eat meat, there is a growing understanding that they need better, more eco-friendly options. Companies in this area, sometimes called “cultivated,” “cultured,” or “lab-grown” meat makers, are quickly growing. They are teaming up with traditional meat producers, getting investments, and building new places to make their products. However, there are big challenges to making these meat alternatives widely available. It is still expensive to make lab-grown meat, and there are tricky scientific problems, like making it look and feel like traditional cuts. Laws in many places also make it hard to sell. Plus, not everyone is into the idea of eating meat grown in a lab. Some people are curious, but others just are not interested. A study showed that many people in places where meat is a big deal are unsure about trying lab-grown meat, saying they are not used to it or do not like the idea. Even in families, some members might prefer regular meat, even if they care about animals’ well-being.