Clean meat is an alternative term that is preferred by some journalists, advocates, and organizations that support the technology, including the Good Food Institute, as they say the name better reflects the production and benefits of the meat.
The theoretical possibility of growing meat in an industrial setting has long captured the public imagination. Winston Churchill suggested in 1931: "We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium."
In vitro cultivation of muscular fibers was performed as early as 1971 by Russell Ross. Indeed, the abstract was "Smooth muscle derived from the inner media and intima of immature guinea pig aorta were grown for up to 8 weeks in cell culture. The cells maintained the morphology of smooth muscle at all phases of their growth in culture. After growing to confluency, they grew in multiple overlapping layers. By week 4 in culture, microfibrils (110 A) appeared within the spaces between the layers of cells. Basement membrane-like material also appeared adjacent to the cells. Analysis of the microfibrils showed that they have an amino acid composition similar to that of the microfibrillar protein of the intact elastic fiber. These investigations coupled with the radioautographic observations of the ability of aortic smooth muscle to synthesize and secrete extracellular proteins demonstrate that this cell is a connective tissue synthetic cell." The culturing of stem cells from animals has been possible since the 1990s, including the production of small quantities of tissue which could, in principle be cooked and eaten. NASA has been conducting experiments since 2001, producing cultured meat from turkey cells. The first edible sample was produced by the NSR/Touro Applied BioScience Research Consortium in 2002: goldfish cells grown to resemble fish fillets.
In 1998 Jon F. Vein of the United States filed for, and ultimately secured, a patent (US 6,835,390 B1) for the production of tissue engineered meat for human consumption, wherein muscle and fat cells would be grown in an integrated fashion to create food products such as beef, poultry and fish.