Florida became the first state to ban lab-grown meat last week.  Other states are starting to follow their lead.  Will New York be one of them?

What is lab-grown meat?

Lab-grown meat is really a meat alternative.  It is grown from animal stem cells but it is grown in a lab outside of an animal's body.  By adding carbohydrates and amino acids to the cells in a petri dish, the cells eventually begin to multiply.  Eventually, you will be left with something that resembles ground meat in a dish.

Here's a good video to describe how it's made:

Is lab-grown meat better?

The video above claims that beef production drives 25% of global land use and forestry emissions according to the World Wildlife Federation. It also says that raising cows requires 28 times more land and 11 times more water than other livestock.

They claim that it will eventually be cheaper, faster to produce, and more environmentally friendly. Plus, vegans, vegetarians, and animal lovers will love that fewer animals will have to be slaughtered for food.

They also claim that lab-grown meats could reduce the carbon footprint by 92%, land use by 90%, and water use by 66%.

However, an analysis that was done in 2021 found that initially, lab-grown meat will cost more than three times as much to produce as natural beef. They're expecting that as it gets produced more the cost should come down.

It will also taste different (for now).  They describe it as "a little more bland" in the video above.

Is it better?  That's up to you.

One of the biggest concerns is what it will do to farmers across the country.  How many farms will be put out of business due to lab-grown meat?

Florida banned lab-grown meat to protect farmers

On Wednesday, May 1st, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation to ban lab-grown meat in the state of Florida to protect the "integrity of American agriculture,"  In doing so, he said, "Take your fake lab-grown meat elsewhere. We're not doing that in the state of Florida."

According to the Florida Cattle Market Update, while all of the 10 ten states have shown a decline in their cattle herds, Florida is still 9th in the country when it comes to cattle production.

Will they ban lab-grown meat in New York?

As of right now, there are only a handful of other states that have begun the process to ban lab-grown meats.  They include Alabama, Arizona, and Tennessee.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul has said she will support our farmers.  In January of 2024 she said,

“New York’s agriculture industry is a key part of our economy, our communities and our way of life. As the first governor from upstate New York in nearly a century, I know first-hand how critical this sector is. I’m committed to supporting the growth of agriculture and food production and am continuing to focus on policies and investments that support our farmers.”

We will see what those policies will mean with regard to lab-grown meat as this becomes a bigger issue in the future.

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