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Collaborative Success Stories: Making Ends Meat


University of Missouri researchers are on their way to producing edible meat and usable leather with minimal environmental impact and without slaughtering animals.

One third of all available land globally is used for livestock production, and livestock contributes to 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. It takes more than 75 square feet of land to make one hamburger.

University of Missouri professor, Gabor Forgacs, and his team are well aware of these statistics and their consequences. In 2011, they founded Modern Meadow, a company focused on leveraging advances in tissue engineering to solve global resource challenges created when raising livestock for the production of meat and leather.

The technology behind Modern Meadow was initially developed for medical applications. The emerging medical field, tissue engineering, weaves together several disciplines of science and engineering to make tissues and organs that can mimic, restore, maintain or improve body function. Members of Modern Meadow’s scientific team were some of the pioneers behind medical tissue engineering.

The Modern Meadow team is translating that research into creating leather and meat in the lab. Forgacs hopes that cultured meat and hides will help reduce negative effects of typical animal farming and provide additional options for both chefs and eco-friendly fashion designers.

Modern Meadow started with a group of dedicated scientists and researchers at the University of Missouri. The company has since attracted a world-class team, advisors and investors pledging more than $10 million in capital—all of whom share the common goal of solving the global food and resource crisis.

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Related Initiative(s):
Food for the Future, Sustainable Energy,