And Now They’re Working on Lab-Grown FRUIT

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

We’ve all heard about lab-grown meat.  But have you heard about lab-grown fruit? 

In 2018, Finnish scientists discovered they could create plant cell cultures that were nutritious and delicious, according to taste testers.  They have produced pleasant-tasting cell culture lines that can be added to things like smoothies or jam.  They’re not at the point yet where they can produce apple slices you could toss in a baggie for a snack, but that is the end goal, and researchers around the world are convinced it’s possible.  

How do they grow fruit in a lab?

Growing a fruit from cell cultures in a laboratory involves four steps:

  • Step 1: Multiplication—This is where stem cells are taken from the meristem of a desired fruit plant and then multiplied.
  • Step 2: Induction of flowering in multiplied stem cells—This is currently the biggest technological hurdle.
  • Step 3: Induction of fruit production—This can be done using organic compounds, rather than traditional pollination.
  • Step 4: Growing the fruit—This part consists of providing the growing fruit with the optimal nutrients needed for development.

These projects involve cell culturing.  Lots of foods like to call themselves “lab-grown” for the novelty factor.  Scientists tout the Cosmic Crisp apple as being “lab-grown” because the original development took place in a laboratory.  But Cosmic Crisp apples are grown on trees, outdoors, in the sunshine, just like any other apple you’d eat.  

That’s not what we’re talking about here with truly cell-cultured fruit.  The technology for this is quite advanced and so far, scientists have not been able to come up with anything that actually looks like a piece of fruit.  The ultimate goal is to grow edible-parts-only pieces of fruit.  So apples without cores, citrus without peels, and so on.

Given the technical difficulty and expense in development, you may wonder, why bother?  There is a big population that has an ethical problem with killing animals for food, but the group of people with moral qualms about plucking an apple from a tree  is vanishingly small.

Additionally, livestock rearing is pretty foreign to the average urban or suburban dweller.  Growing your own fruits and veggies isn’t.  Neighborhoods all over the country are dripping with fruit at certain times of the year.  I feed lots of dinged neighborhood fruit to my pigs because homeowners literally can’t process it.

So, what’s the official excuse for these high-tech expenditures?

New Zealand’s Newsable discusses this with Ben Schon, Senior Scientist with the New Zealand Plant and Food Research.  He sees lab-grown fruit as an additional source of food as the world’s population expands, not as a replacement for traditional agriculture but a supplement to it.  Dr. Schon is a firm believer in man-made climate change and coming problems with overpopulation. He sees developing the technology to produce food in closed environments as a sort of hedge for traditional agriculture in case of climate disaster and thinks it may be more sustainable in the long run.

Lucas van der Zee, horticulture and product physiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, sees growing only edible fruits in laboratory environments as a way to remove land from agricultural use. His Fruit of Knowledge project aims to grow only the edible portions of fruit in laboratory environments with the express purpose of allowing farmland to revert to its native state. 

Proponents of this technology, in general, see it as a way to avoid food wastage.  Why have a whole apple tree with all those leaves and branches when you really just want the fruit? 

(Never mind the fact that the trees are beautiful, provide shade, and smell heavenly when in bloom.  But technocrats don’t like to deal in intangibles.)

Avoiding food wastage is indeed an admirable goal, but why not pump more money into home economics classes, rather than shutting them down for ever more STEM courses that most high schoolers won’t use anyway?  

Treating home economics as an important life skill and imparting the values associated with thrift and a happy, comfortable home would go a long way toward fixing many of society’s ills.  Thrifty adults waste very little food. Older people who grew up broke are often full of ideas for how to use food before it goes bad.  But the government seems to have zero interest in any solutions that involve a confident, responsible citizenry.  All solutions must be profitable for favored industries.

So, again, why? 

Is lab-grown fruit just about the money?

Yeah, but it’s a LOT of money.  In President Biden’s Bold Goals for U.S. Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing report released in March, he promotes food and agriculture innovation, and as we discussed in our article here, an emphasis on lab-grown food will be part of that.  Between taking market share away from traditional farmers and the patents that will probably be involved, the favored biotech industry will see nice new revenue streams if this technology moves forward.  

Cell-cultured food products could also be a convenient vector for getting mRNA into food.  We’ve discussed the efforts to grow heads of lettuce with mRNA vaccines in them.   Research is being done on vaccines that can be inhaled.

I’m sure this sounds crazier than it should, but the fact is that powerful entities, including various governments and large industries, are trying to get mRNA into absolutely everything.  

You can really go down the rabbit hole trying to figure this one out, but numbers alone reveal a push in consumer behavior that cannot be ignored.  In March 2020, Moderna posted a profit of $520 million.  After peaking at nearly $23 billion in June 2022 at $10.65 billion in June 2023, they’ve still shown incredible growth in the last three and a half years.

When companies (especially companies with shareholders that include legislators and heads of state) start making huge profits, they don’t want those revenue streams slipping away just because everyone’s getting healthy on their own again.  You can see the push for mRNA vaccines in everything.  mRNA vaccines for flu, Zika, RSV, HIV, CMV, and cancer are in human trials.

There is also a push to get mRNA into livestock.  An RNA-based vaccine platform has been in use for commercial pork since 2018. While no mRNA vaccines have been used in beef production, they are being researched. 

Similarly, for poultry, while no mRNA vaccines are currently in use in the U.S., French pharmaceutical companies are conducting trials for mRNA in their poultry.

Our federal government has made commitments toward promoting biotechnology and biomanufacturing, and interested parties are trying to make money by getting biotech (like medical treatments using mRNA platforms for delivery) into everything.  And, of course, this is all done in the name of public health, but if this was truly about health, they would be telling us to eat less processed food, not more.

Hiding food production from consumers facilitates all kinds of tampering with the food supply.  This is not for our benefit.

Lab-grown fruit isn’t in stores. Yet.

Fortunately, the technology to grow things that actually look like pieces of fruit is a long way off.  If you go to the store and buy an apple, you know it grew on a tree.  And even when it comes to jams or smoothies, foods in which it would be easy to add cell culture lines instead of real fruit, the cost is prohibitive right now.  Cell-cultured fruit is too expensive to sneak into other foods.  

But it’s worth following this technology.  And if you’re not in the habit of cooking from scratch, there will never be a better time to start.  The less you have to rely on grabbing a bag of “whatever” to fill you up, the less you have to worry about eating something you may not be comfortable with.  

What are your thoughts about lab-grown fruit? Would you knowingly eat it? What pros and cons, if any, do you see? Do you think this will make its way to grocery stores?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

Marie Hawthorne

Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

Leave a Reply

  • How much worse can this be than the commercial crap they grow now?
    Had a peach the other day. It looked like a peach. Didnt really smell like one. Tasted more like cardboard.
    Grow your own!

    • People in apartments, condos, high-rise buildings, townhouses, tiny houses with no space, campgrounds on rented land can’t ever do this. Impossible… People with their own houses on some land or acres yes, easy enough but not the rest…So GROW YOUR OWN, is not an option for many people…

  • Ye gods! I may have to starve to death, or resign myself to growing extra limbs that look like blood clots. I for one do not want lab grown ANYTHING. Probably less nutritious…and who knows what more than mRNA “for our health” they might decide to add. Soma, anyone?

    • In order to kill most of us off due to their depopulation agenda how would we know if they have not added the covid ingrediencies to this food or something from a vaccine of the near future? We don’t!!!

  • One of my favorite computer games is Civilization: Beyond Earth. Colonists land on a new planet following what is called the Great Mistake on Earth. There are three main paths forward:
    1. Purity, remaining true to humanity’s roots, altering the planet to be more Earth-like.
    2. Supremacy, using technology (especially cybernetics) to merge man with machine, making the environment a non-issue.
    3. Harmony, altering humanity to be more alien through controlled mutations, thus living in harmony with this new environment.

    There are many technologies one can develop, including unnatural ways of making food.

    Now, I don’t personally have a problem with any of those paths. Still, when I’m playing the game, I’m trying to grow my colony. I want it to be successful. I’m sure as hell not trying to cull my own population or deliberately get my citizens sick for pharma profits. So bottom line, I’m not morally against many of the technologies being developed now, but I don’t trust the people developing them.

  • Arrogant morons trying to re-invent the wheel so to speak. Give it up dudes, you’ll never come close to Mother Nature!

  • I work in a BigBox. You would not believe the number of people, even seniors, that buy and use that horrible “Beyond Beef”! Folks it is frankenfood!!
    (From Consumer Freedom); Here are some things you might not know are in that veggie burger:
    Tertiary butylhydroquinone. TBHQ is a synthetic preservative that prevents discoloration in processed foods. The FDA limits the amount of TBHQ allowed in foods because studies of laboratory animals has found an association with TBHQ and cancer.
    Magnesium carbonate. Remember when some bread was accused of having a yoga mat chemical? Well, magnesium carbonate, used in foods to retain color, is also used in flooring, fireproofing, and fire-extinguishing compounds.
    Erythosine (Red #3). Red #3 is an artificial food coloring. The FDA banned the use of Red #3 in products such as cosmetics in 1990 after high doses of the substance were linked to cancer. But it can still be used in foods like fake meat.
    Propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid used as a moisturizer. It’s also used as a liquid in e-cigarettes and is the primary ingredient in antifreeze.
    Ferric orthophosphate. Also called iron phosphate, this chemical is used to fortify foods. It can also be used as a pesticide to kill slugs and snails. While generally considered safe (for people) in food in small quantities, it can be a skin and eye irritant and may cause an upset stomach.
    Beyond Meat’s CEO says in interviews that they “just take the amino acids and the fats from another source and recreate those. Beyond Meat products also include things like dipotassium phosphate, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, and maltodextrin.
    More info at
    Please eat real food!!

  • Apparently there are fruits and vegies with plastic God-knows-what-coatings that can’t be washed off.

    Look for ‘Apeel’ stickers when shopping. They are along the lines of this engineered lab grown garbage.

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

    We respect your privacy.
    Malcare WordPress Security