Saturday 18 November 2017

Your festive turkey could be grown in laboratories by 2030

Lab-grown turkey could be a reality within 15 years Photo: Getty Images
Lab-grown turkey could be a reality within 15 years Photo: Getty Images

Sarah Knapton

In 1931, Winston Churchill predicted that within 50 years, the world would "escape the absurdity" of raising a chicken on a farm just to eat the breast, and instead grow parts in a laboratory.

Now scientists predict that by 2030 his vision will become reality, with lab-grown turkey on Christmas tables within 15 years.

Paul Mozdziak, professor of poultry science at North Carolina State University, is confident factory farming will be replaced by large-scale "cellular agriculture". "Years from now, when people are in the grocery store trying to decide if they want to buy traditional versus cultivated meat, I am 100pc sure that culture meat is going to be just as cheap, if not cheaper," Prof Mozdziak said in 'MIT Technology Review' magazine.

"You're not giving nutrients to bone, you're not giving nutrients to the alimentary tract."

The idea is backed by environmentalists and animal-welfare campaigners, who say it would reduce reliance on factory-farmed animals and save resources.

Livestock farming has the biggest carbon footprint of any food, and producing beef in vitro could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90pc.

Surveys have shown that many vegetarians would eat meat if it were grown in a lab.

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