Sam Harris Asks: Would You Eat Cultured Meat?
Best-selling author Sam Harris recently ran a Twitter poll where he asked:

If cultured meat is molecularly identical to beef, pork, etc., and tastes the same, will you switch to eating it?

Nearly 15,000 people answered, with 83 percent saying that they would switch to cultured meat.

In a follow-up, Mr. Harris asked:

For those who answered "no" to my last poll, what's your MAIN objection to eating cultured meat?

Over a quarter of those who said they wouldn’t eat cultured meat said it was because they were vegetarian, which is obviously not an indication of rejection by the general population (i.e., the market for cultured meat).

Twenty-four percent more said, “It will be expensive.” Of course, this is not an objection to cultured meat per se, and something that will be dealt with as the technology improves and economies of scale kick in.

A further quarter said, “It might not be safe.” This is an area that will actually be a significant strength of cultured meatno bacterial contamination, no food poisoning, and the lack of antibiotic use in cultured meat will greatly reduce the rise of deadly superbugs. Cultures can also be grown so as to leave the meat with a healthy nutritional profilelow cholesterol and saturated fat, high Omega-3 fatty acids, etc.

Notably, this poll was done before consumers had been presented with the myriad advantages of cultured over conventional meat. I have no doubt that once consumers are given two optionsmeat from animals grown on filthy farms and killed in filthy slaughterhouses, or meat grown in the equivalent of meat breweriesthey will be lining up to buy cultured meat. 

Of course, Mr. Harris’s Twitter followers aren’t a perfect representation of the meat-eating population as a whole. But given that the vast, vast majority are already ready to switch (with even more open to the idea if the price is right and the safety proven), we can see that the market is there for cultured meat!

Thanks, Sam!

Sign up to stay current on the work of GFI.