Imagine sitting down to a meal with all the sights and textures of a meat-based one, except the beef strips in your stir fry, which happens to be super-charged with flavor, are not actually beef. Only you don’t have to imagine it. The meat of the future is here and it’s alive—but not in the way you might think. It’s a product of the push by a growing number of technology companies to tap into the vastness of microscopic diversity to recreate complex animal-based products, such as steak and bacon. The hope is to meet global protein needs in an environmentally friendly way.