Lab-Grown Fake Chicken: Gross, Dangerous Or Both

Concerns About Heavy Metal And Rodent DNA Contamination

When you think of healthy, wholesome foods that nourish your body and support wellness, does your vision include foods grown in petri-dishes?  There are two companies who are allowed to market cultured fake meats in the United States.  One of which, Upside, is working feverishly to upscale its production.  That means we could see a flood of lab-grown meats in the near future. A closer inspection shows several reasons why consumers should beware. 

Lab-Grown Fake Chicken … Gross, Dangerous, or Both?Upside has been battling multiple contamination issues, each one equally concerning. To start, their fake chicken line has struggled with contamination of rodent DNA.  That alone would put the typical consumer off from trying the product. Nonetheless, some of Upside's samples were also found to contain heavy metals.  Compared to conventional ground chicken, their lab-grown cultured chicken contained twenty times as much lead (Mercola, 2023).

Note that lead exposure has been linked to nervous system disorders, immune suppression, kidney damage, abdominal pain, gum disease, anemia, osteoporosis, hypertension, and reproductive problems.

Nothing about lab-grown, heavy metal and rodent DNA contaminated food sounds appealing. But even if these issues were solved, the product would still be surrounded by misconceptions.  First, fake meat is typically marketed toward vegetarians and those who prefer a plant-based diet.  However, cultured meat is not vegan-friendly.  It is grown using animal components.

Manufacturers also push cultured meats by claiming sustainability.  But in truth, fake food will never be more sustainable or eco-friendly than real. Common sense alone tells us that labs and factories will always take a larger carbon footprint than a traditional farm.

Lab-Grown Fake Chicken … Gross, Dangerous, or Both?

In fact, Uprise's cultured meats are being grown in small, single-use plastic bottles. In an age when most consumers are trying to ditch single-use plastics, this seems like a big step in the wrong direction.  Not to mention the potential for BPA or phthalates leaching into the "food".

If you are concerned with the environment, don't reach for synthetic foods.  Instead, purchase from local farmers who use thoughtful biodynamic organic practices.

If fake meat isn't healthier or better for the environment, then why is it even an option?  What is the purpose of having such a product in our food supply? Some theorize the reason behind such investment is to gain more control over the food supply. While this can't be proven, it seems that there has to be some further agenda.  Especially when considering the primary investors.

Regardless, fake food is not harmless.  Some highly processed foods are dangerous.  Some are gross.  Cultured, lab-grown meat is both.  Avoid it at all costs. Don't be swayed by the marketing.  Select whole, unprocessed foods to nourish your body and protect your wellness.

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What To Remember:
Lab-grown, cultured meats are grown using animals components.  It is not animal-free.
Worse, some lab grown fake chicken has been found to contain rodent DNA!
Tests also reveal concerning heavy metal contamination. 
Avoid lab-grown meat at all costs!  It's not just unhealthy; it is dangerous and gross.


Rosenfeld, Daniel L. and Tomiyama, A. Janet.  (April, 2022).  Would you eat a burger made in a petri dish?  Why people feel disgusted by cultured meat.  Journal of Environmental Psychology.
Blackmer, Nick.  (July, 2023).  FDA Says Lab-Grown Meat Is Safe to Eat—But What Is It, Exactly?
Martinez, MaryAnn.  (June, 2023).  Nutritionist slams new lab-grown meat.


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  Fake food – I mean those patented substances chemically flavored and mechanically bulked out to kill the appetite and deceive the gut – is unnatural, almost immoral, a bane to good eating and good cooking.” — Julia Child