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In a few years meat grown in laboratories from animal cells may become part of our regular diet, a prospect that raises complex technical, social and ethical questions

I am sitting at a kitchen worktop in the airy offices of San Francisco food startup Eat JUST. As a vegetarian, I’m in angst about what is being gently turned over for me in the fryer by one of the chefs. Sitting beside me, the company’s CEO Josh Tetrick tries to put my moral dilemma into perspective. “You’re not my target market,” he says. “It’s people who are eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

The product in the fryer is JUST’s prototype chicken nugget, which costs about $50 to make. It is manufactured from what the industry calls cultured, cell-based or cultivated meat (though the outside world knows it more commonly as lab-grown meat). Not to be confused with “meat” that is plant…

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