Will McDonald's Ever Use Lab-Grown Meat For Its Burger Patties?

With the U.S. Department of Agriculture's June 2023 approval of lab-grown meat, many consumers may be wondering when the stuff will begin making its way to popular fast food chains like McDonald's. Mike Haracz, former Manager of Culinary Innovation for the Golden Arches, told customers that they shouldn't hold their breath waiting for the switch via TikTok. Haracz stated it's highly unlikely that McDonald's will be selling artificial meat products any time soon, primarily due to the cost of such products. 

Consider that lab-grown meat can sometimes cost approximately $17 per pound, while the 2023 average cost of beef per pound is $4.92. Such a substantial markup would drastically reduce sales at McDonald's, which means the restaurant has very little incentive to make the switch. Also, beef is readily available, while approved lab-grown meat is only available from two companies. Even if the chain wanted to incorporate these products into its menus, it would be extremely challenging to do so based on the lack of access.

Price is one of the major roadblocks with lab-grown meat

Chef Mike Haracz definitely sees the value in lab-grown meat, especially when it comes to people who abstain from eating meat due to ethical concerns about how animals are treated. In this case, Haracz believes that artificial meat might be a good thing, as it would allow another segment of diners to enjoy McDonald's burgers without feeling conflicted. However, Haracz also adds that those who are wholly opposed to animal products are unlikely to be swayed by the fact that the meat is grown in a lab.


Replying to @feliznavidaddy1 Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about lab grown meat. #mcdonaldssecrets #McDonaldsSecret #mcdonaldslife #McDonaldsTikTok #FastFood #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodNews #labgrownmeat #labgrownchicken #labgrownmeats #labgrownbeef

♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

Despite these potential benefits, Haracz believes that the high cost of lab-grown meat products will remain an obstacle for McDonald's and other fast food establishments. He mentions the deals that the restaurant gets when it purchases beef and surmises that these great prices will not be available with lab-grown beef. Haracz also cites pressure from the beef industry, which will likely use its influence to dissuade McDonald's and other establishments from using meat that comes from non-traditional sources.

Many people have reservations about lab-grown meat

Along with issues involving price and availability, it appears that much of the public is put off by the thought of consuming meat from a lab. According to a survey conducted by the AP-NORC Center, just 18% of respondents claimed to be "very likely to try" lab-derived meat. On the other hand, 50% of those surveyed stated they were "not at all interested" in these products. Based on these figures, McDonald's could potentially alienate a significant portion of its customer base by making the switch.

Commenters on Mike Haracz's TikTok video mirror this sentiment. One person stated they'd like to see more studies on the possible health impacts of lab-grown meat products before trying them. Another commenter plainly said, "I would never eat that." According to NBC News, much of the criticism stems from the fact that people believe lab-grown meat to be "unnatural." However, it's worth noting that many of the animals from which meat is derived are subject to intensive genetic modification, as well as other artificial measures. No matter the public's opinion of the quality and safety of lab-grown meat, it's unlikely that McDonald's will be serving it up any time soon.