Move over, plant-based beef: Hello, beef-infused rice


No, not beef on rice — beef rice.

That’s what a team of South Korean researchers are hoping to plate up with their newly developed hybrid rice, grown in a lab with cow muscle and fat cells inside the rice grains.

The rice — which is colored pink — could offer a cheaper, more environmentally sustainable source of protein with a much lower carbon footprint than beef, the researchers say.

“Imagine obtaining all the nutrients we need from cell-cultured protein rice,” primary author Sohyeon Park said in a news release on Wednesday, when the study was published in the journal Matter. “Rice already has a high nutrient level, but adding cells from livestock can further boost it.”

Here’s how they do it: They first coat the rice in fish gelatin to help the meat cells latch on better. Then, they insert cow muscle and fat stem cells into the rice grains, which are left to culture in a petri dish.

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