Top 10 food and drink trends for 2019

Motherless meat

The trend for ditching meat, or at least eating less of it, has been bubbling away for a while, and last year saw vegan cuisine go mainstream in Britain as the supermarkets broadened their ranges with vegan-friendly products, while vegan restaurants like American export By Chloé opened in London’s Covent Garden.

Though vegan fast food joint Temple of Seitan in Shoreditch proved that meat free food needn’t always be virtuous, as did Gizzi Erskine’s vegan pop-up Pure Filth at the Tate Modern.

This year we’ll see the non meat trend go to the next level as scientists get ever closer to replicating the smell, taste and texture of meat in a lab. Whether vegans and veggies actually want ‘motherless’ beef burgers that bleed like real ones remains to be seen – I’m not convinced.

Perhaps the real target market is meat eaters seeking to lessen the amount they consume without having to compromise on taste and flavour. Nasa pioneered the idea of lab-grown meat in the early 2000s, but the challenge ever since has been recreating meat’s complex combination of muscle and fat tissue in a petri dish.

In 2013 Dutch scientists successfully made a burger from stem cells extracted from a cow’s neck, at the astronomical cost of €250,000. Over the last five years the cost of production has dropped dramatically. In December, Israel-based Aleph Farms unveiled the first steak grown in a lab, which cost just £40 to produce.

With the boffins branching out into pork, chicken and even foie gras, we can expect to see some of these ‘cultured’ meats making their way on to menus in the not too distant future.

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