Human values often trickle down to our pets. When we put a sequined sweater on Fluffy, it naturally reflects our sparkly sensibilities. (Also it’s adorable.) This is also evident in the food realm too. If we’re eating high-quality, natural ingredients, you bet we want to the same for Fido.
There’s been a boom lately in pet food products that are touted as “organic” and “plant-based,” however nebulous those labels might be. But the most recent development in pet food technology is a legitimate scientific breakthrough, one that humans have also been testing themselves with relative success in recent years. Companies like Bond Pets and Hampton Creek, among others, are racing to create pet food based from cell-cultured meat. Now that’s a high-tech fancy feast!
This development allows chicken, pork, and beef to be grown in bioreactors from a handful of cells, without the need to slaughter an animal. While the “clean meat” phenomena has only recently entered the mainstream, it has piqued the interests of ethically minded consumers. And it makes sense that animal lovers would be among the first people to embrace a diet that values both health and sustainability initiatives for themselves and their pets.
Since production occurs in tightly controlled lab environments, there is also speculation cell-based meat could be tailored to benefit specific breeds of cats and dogs. It may also cut down on food safety issues as well, a godsend for pet owners given the glut of recent recalls in the industry.
If it sounds too good to be true, well you might be on to something. It’s still in the earliest stages of development and could take at least a year before lab-grown dog food hits supermarket shelves. And that’s to say nothing of its cost. The price point is expected to be way more expensive than your basic kibble. But regardless of the setbacks and challenges, it’s still a fascinating development that bodes well for both you and your dog.
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