Remember also that the majority of the American meat supply is raised in ways that introduce all sorts of chemicals and adulterants to the meat through what the animal is fed, whether it is feedgrains with pesticides on them or hormones and antibiotics fed in large doses to chickens, pigs and cows.
In contrast, according to interviews I’ve heard with Memphis Meats, the growing medium that the cells feed on is free of any of those substances. So the meat is healthier, to start.
Looking farther out on the horizon, Memphis Meats might choose to culture certain heritage breeds of livestock that have been shown to have healthier nutrient profiles (less fat and cholesterol, more diverse Omega compounds, even certain beneficial phytochemicals that show up in grassfed meat, but not factory farmed meat). Such “dietary tweaking” for the cultured cells could also be aimed at improving taste and texture of the meat.
The biggest potential barrier that I hear from colleagues and Edible readers is an aesthetic concern — a sort of ick factor associated with cultured meat. But I find this melts away as people learn more about the process and advantages over the current meat chain. As Seth points out, the process isn’t really different from the fermentation that produces beer and soy sauce. And there couldn’t be anything more aesthetically disgusting as factory raised meat.