Inside a hard plastic tray in a research laboratory, a single muscle cell divides into two. Two divide into four, and four divide into eight.

In some ways, what’s going on is a non-event; researchers have been growing cell cultures for decades. But for food scientists, the work going on here—and in several other labs dotted around the globe—could not be more important.

If these researchers succeed, their work will do more to provide safe, efficient and humane animal protein than any agricultural technology ever.

“Clean meat” is real, pure meat grown without the need for a living animal. A handful of muscle cells are fed a mixture of sugars and other food, causing them to replicate just like they would inside a body. Within a few weeks they have grown into a chunk of meat that is, molecule for molecule, identical to conventional meat.

Identical, but better. Clean meat is safer to eat, because it is completely free of food-borne pathogens. Clean meat is also much more resource efficient. It requires far less land and water to produce than conventional meat, and has lower carbon emissions. And because it does not require raising live animals, clean meat is totally humane.

In countries such as the United States, Japan and Israel, numerous startup companies are racing to develop clean meat technology (as well as clean egg and dairy products). Investors include Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Li Ka-Shing, all of whom view clean meat as the future of animal protein.

Numerous startup companies are racing to develop clean meat technology

Other companies are producing and selling high tech plant-based meat—burgers, sausages and other foods made from plant ingredients. The global plant-based products market is growing rapidly; it’s expected to reach 85 billion HKD by 2022.

These advanced food technologies are bringing more efficient, safe and humane protein to consumers—as well as creating jobs and economic growth. That’s why investors from Asia, Europe and the United States have put billions of dollars into clean meat and plant-based meat companies in the west.

Hong Kong’s sophisticated consumers care about health and food safety. It’s time to build up the market for clean meat and plant-based meat here in Hong Kong.

Lever is working to grow the clean meat and plant-based meat industries in Hong Kong. We help entrepreneurs launch new companies and joint ventures, and connect them with startup funding. We work with local and foreign investors to educate them about clean meat and plant-based meat investment and market opportunities. And we show consumers the benefits of these products, so companies in this space can succeed.

If you want to help these industries grow in Hong Kong, join or contact us now. Use Lever to move the world toward clean meat and plant-based meat.