Are lab meats our future? Part 1

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. lab-cultured / læb ˈkʌl tʃərd / (adj.) – produced in a laboratory

    Many organizations that fight for animal rights support lab-cultured meat.

  2. retail / ˈri teɪl / (v.) – to be sold directly to the public, especially for a particular price

    The new tablet will retail for $200.

  3. exclusivity / ˌɛks kluˈsɪv ɪ ti / (n.) – the quality of being only available for some people, usually those who are rich or who belong to a higher social class

    The brand is known for its exclusivity. Not many people own their products.

  4. lukewarm / ˈlukˈwɔrm / (adj.) – showing little energy, excitement, or interest

    The response to the new film was only lukewarm.

  5. skeptical / ˈskɛp tɪ kəl / (adj.) – having doubts about whether something is true, useful, good, etc.

    The ad said that this supplement can improve your memory, but I’m skeptical of that.


Read the text below.

Last November, Singapore made headlines as the first country to approve the sale of lab-grown chicken meat.

The lab-cultured chicken was developed by Californian company Eat Just, which sells it under its Good Meat brand. It’s been offered at a private members club in Singapore since January. In a media interview, Eat Just’s chief executive Josh Tetrick said the company is looking to expand to other restaurants, and “anywhere selling chicken.” The product is likely to retail in supermarkets in the second half of 2022.

For now, the product is only available to club members. They have to pay 23 Singaporean dollars (about ¥1,900) for a plate of two gourmet creations: a cultured chicken nugget served with a maple waffle and hot sauce, and a slice of sesame cultured chicken with pickled cucumber and spring onion in a Chinese bun.

Given the exclusivity of the club, few in Singapore have had the chance to try it. However, even when the club makes it available to the public in the near future, demand may be lukewarm at best.

Most of my friends are skeptical of lab-grown meat because they feel uncomfortable with the idea of eating something that was grown from animal muscle cells in a lab. In comparison, plant-based meat substitutes may be easier to swallow. Products such as Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger, OmniMeat and Quorn are available in local supermarkets, as well as some restaurants and fast-food eateries. (Tan Ying Zhen)

To be continued…

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The club members have to pay 23 Singaporean dollars (about ¥1,900) for a plate of two gourmet dishes made from lab-grown meat. Do you think that’s a reasonable price? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • According to the article, even when the club makes lab-grown chicken meat available to the public in the near future, demand may be lukewarm at best. Do you agree that it likely won’t be very popular? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Lab-grown meat is created from animal muscle cells in a lab and doesn’t involve killing any animals. Do you think that some vegetarians will find it acceptable to eat lab-grown meat, or will they still be against it? Why? Discuss.
  • In the future, do you think that more food will be created in labs (as opposed to being cooked traditionally), or will this be a short-term trend? Why? Discuss.