By Linda St.Cyr
McDonald’s has plans to be the first fast food restaurant in the United States to add lab-grown meat to its menu. The fast food chain known for chicken nuggets and Big Mac’s is planning to ‘grow’ their own chicken McNuggets in special laboratories across New Jersey. The company’s goal is to reduce the number of real chickens needed to supply the franchise’s 35,000 outlets around the world.
McDonald’s is making the move after the success of Sergey Brin’s lab-grown burger experiment in London last year. Sergey Brin’s petri dish hamburgers were served up at an event in London last August with a price tag of $325,000 per burger. Although the company made headway in making lab-grown meat a reality, the price tag is going to be hard for companies to get around until these foods can be funded into the marketplace.
Sergey Brin’s and McDonald’s lab-grown meat ideas stem from what appears to be a desire to be more environmentally friendly and to squash animal rights issues. Surprisingly, animal rights activists like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are on board with the lab-grown meat experiments. It appears that PETA is okay petri-dish grown chickens for food, but not okay with the way chickens are raised, processed, and slaughtered by McDonald’s and other food chains currently.
Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of PETA, celebrated the announcement of McDonald’s plans.
“Although we think it’s bizarre that the future McNuggets will be grown in a lab, we’re relieved to know that chickens no longer have to be sacrificed to feed McDonald’s customers,” Newkirk said. “But we won’t truly be happy until the company stops selling real beef burgers too, since cows suffer in disgusting feedlots across the United States.
The benefits of lab-grown meat include a reduction of gas emissions, companies would no longer have ethical issues in regards to animal rights, and there would be less use of land and water. The downside to the lab-grown meat industry is society’s current trend away from processed food. Another downside to the lab-grown meat industry is that there are no standards governing what goes into the making of the meat products nor has it been tested for health and safety reasons.
Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.