Farming • health

Farm-to-Table vs. Lab-to-Table

Written by Nick Wallace
5 Minute Read
Published on Jul 20, 2023

With all the noise in the world today, have you heard that the FDA just announced the approval of lab grown meat into the United States food supply system? Upside Foods and Good Meat have been working on cell cultured meats in the lab for years and just received the stamp of approval for human consumption.

Many of the details and all of my questions have yet to be answered. Here is the barrage of questions and where my mind goes when breaking down an important topic like this. Allow me to take each one on and compare them to our 99 Counties regenerative farming model.

Will the full list of chemicals and the process be transparent for consumers?

If this is a lab cultured process, there must be a complex system of chemical reactions and solutions to create the product.

“It starts with cells, which can come from a fertilized egg, a special bank of stored cells or tissue initially taken from a living animal. The cells are mixed with a broth of nutrients that the cells need to grow and divide. Cells are triggered to turn into skeletal muscle, fat and connective tissues. After days or weeks, the cells are removed from the tanks and shaped into products such as nuggets.” (

99 Counties keeps the recipe simple: soil, plants, seeds, farmer, sunlight and water. Add in animal husbandry and humane processing along with recycle-friendly delivery.

Will the labeling reflect the origin or source of the meat in grocery stores?

Although there are only rumors now, there is a strong possibility that labels will not reflect the source and consumers will not be able to easily identify the product as “lab-grown”.

Here at 99 Counties we proudly want to tell you where you food comes from and how it was raised. When you receive a 99 Counties package, you will see exactly where that meat came from!

What long term independent studies have been done to measure the health and safety of this new territory in food

We currently don’t have a long-term study for most of the chemically laden foods in the grocery store. This has been going on for decades and as a culture we have accepted and (even joke about) the inability to pronounce most foods and drinks we eat.

“The Center for Food Safety says that it’s unknown whether lab-grown meat will pose any more or fewer safety concerns than traditional meat,” (

At 99 Counties we are just honoring and delivering on an age old promise. Raising and providing high quality meats with healthy and delicious ingredients. You’ll be able to pronounce every one….promise!

Is there a demand for this new model for food manufacturing?

Carbon Footprint Comparison of ProtiensNot too many years ago Beyond and the Impossible Burger took front and center stage, claiming to be an amazing replacement for animal protein across the globe. It has been a complete failure. It doesn’t taste very good, the product contains far too many unhealthy ingredients, the farming practices to produce the raw ingredients degrade the landscape and society as a whole has rejected it.

We here at 99 Counties are betting the future will demand delicious meats raised by regenerative farmers who want to leave the farms in better shape. What many people don’t realize is that vegan alternatives are more often than not more harmful to the environment that purchasing and consuming quality, regeneratively-raised food.

How much cell grown meat can be grown when this model is perfected in the years ahead?

Will the industrial parks within the major cities move to all indoor grown lab meats and hydroponics? Could it be the populations within the cities will have their food grown within the cities walls? It’s not hard to see that play out.

We’re dedicated to heading the other way. Let’s bring our food back to the countryside, with space to move, sunrises and sunsets, and locally grown food with flavor and nutrients.

Will this replace all livestock farmers in the future?

It’s hard to know. There is a beating drum that livestock agriculture is ruining the planet. Too many burps and farts, too much water, too much land, too many stubborn farmers (that part is true **insert sweating and smiling emoji). Lab grown food solves it all. It’s much easier to plan and monetize a system that is completely self-contained. Vast quantities of perfectly designed “meat”. Large investments will be made to produce this alternative.

99 Counties wants as many regenerative farmers as possible, producing unique foods and flavors all across the country. We are entering new territory. I don’t have a crystal ball but I pay attention. I watch for trends. Lab-cultured meat may be a “nothing burger” or maybe it become standard policy. The reason I started this company was because I saw small farms and farmers becoming extinct. I’m not living in a world without beautiful bounty from the countryside. It’s not healthy and it’s not fun.

Let’s work together to keep the small farms and stubborn farmers in business. ;)

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