Researchers at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom are growing meat cells on blades of grass. The process builds upon what clean-meat (also known as “cultured” or “lab-grown” meat) companies have already established but uses grass as structural support (known in the industry as “scaffolding”) to allow cells to proliferate into edible meat. “The idea was to essentially, rather than feeding a cow grass and then us eating the meat—why don’t we, in quotation marks, ‘feed our cells grass,’” postgraduate chemical engineering student Scott Allan told the BBC. “We use it as a scaffold for them to grow on—and we then have an edible scaffold that can be incorporated into the final product.” The team has successfully grown pig cells using its grass scaffolding, which opens the door to growing bacon in a lab-setting. “And the pig’s still alive and happy and you get lots of bacon at the end,” postgraduate student Nick Shorten said.
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