Lab-grown leather may be available for consumer purchase in as little as five years. Modern Meadow, a firm currently working to develop lab-grown meat and backed by PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel, is revealing that is debut product may not be a food product, but an industry-changing leather product developed without animals. “Our emphasis first is not on meat, it’s on leather,” Modern Meadow co-founder and Chief Executive Andras Forgacs told Txchnologist. Forgacs further explained the reason for the focus on clothing was due to the product’s simpler structure, which is easier to replicate than meat, but notes, “if you look at the resource intensity of everything that goes into a hamburger, it is an environmental train wreck.” Modern Meadow is pushing for consumer acceptance, but knows with only 40 percent of consumers willing to try cultured meat, the venture is not without challenges.
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