McDonald's building with signs (l) McDonald's burger patty with caption 'They used National cheeseburger day to roll out LAB MEAT Fake LAB MEAT at McDonald's & elsewhere' (c) McDonald's employee handing out bag of food at drive thru (r)

Mahmoud Suhail/Shutterstock Gargantiopa/Shutterstock @teyanaroyal/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

Customer accuses McDonald’s of using National Cheeseburger Day as an excuse to introduce ‘lab meat’

'#LabMeat was used in those .50 cent burgers yall tore up.'

 

Stacy Fernandez

Trending

Posted on Sep 21, 2023

In a viral video series, a woman called out McDonald’s, claiming the burger chain was using lab-grown meat in their burgers. Her claim was debunked.

In the video, Teyana Royal (@teyanaroyal) held up a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich from McDonald’s and told viewers she thought the meat from the fast food giant looked sketchy.

She showed viewers how one side of the meat patty looked thin and melted like the cheese that was melted onto it.

“News flash, this meat is that lab meat they used yesterday to test it on y’all,” Royal claims in the clip. “This is not real meat.”

She adds that the patty didn’t smell or look like real meat.

“Lab meat was introduced on #nationalburgerday #LabMeat was used in those .50 cent burgers yall tore up,” Royal wrote in the caption.

The TikToker was referring to the burger deals multiple fast food restaurants offered on National Burger Day, with prices as low as one cent at Wendy’s.

In a follow-up video, Royal shows that her dog wouldn’t even eat the sausage patty, instead eating off bits of cheese.

Combined, the videos have more than half a million views and thousands of comments as of Thursday morning.

Lab-grown meat, also called cultivated meat, is real meat on a cellular level. Instead of killing a live animal, cells are harvested from one to grow the meat.

Royal’s theory was debunked by PolitiFact earlier this year after a woman on Instagram spread unfounded claims that popular fast-food restaurants, including KFC, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s, were using lab-grown meat.

In short, lab-grown chicken is currently available in the United States market, but is still too expensive and slow to make to be a viable ingredient for fast food restaurants. There is also no approved lab-grown beef or pork on the U.S. market at the time.

Two companies, Upside Foods and Good Meat, received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in June to sell lab-grown meat. Setting the stage for this product to enter the U.S. market for the first time.

The U.S. is only the second country after Singapore to approve lab-grown meat for consumers, Reuters reported. Both companies make cultivated chicken. Due to the still high price and slow process of growing the meat, their chicken is initially being sold to high-end restaurants until they advance their process, supply chain, and scale to lower their process and make it into the grocery store market.

There are at least 100 other startups aiming to recreate other animal proteins, including beef, pork, lamb, and fish.

The Daily Dot reached out to Royal for comment via Instagram direct message and to McDonald’s via email.

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*First Published: Sep 21, 2023, 8:09 am CDT