“Clean” chicken and duck meat? Sounds like we something could munch on. But what does that mean? Are they giving some run-of-the-mill poultry a nice, soapy bath now?
Memphis Meats, a tech startup based in the Bay Area, announced its production of the world's first "clean" chicken and duck meat— they call it that way because the meat is produced directly from self-reproducing cells. Also known as "cultured" or "in vitro" meat, these are prepared fresh without the need to feed, breed, or slaughter animals.
"We were really excited to just yesterday reveal these products to the world. We've been working on the chicken strip for a few months now. Besides the chicken strip, the dish we prepared yesterday was inspired by duck à l'orange. It was really delicious," David Kay, a business analyst at Memphis Meats, told Munchies
. While conventional breeding is associated with "huge problems for the environment, animal welfare, and human health", chicken is still the most popular protein in the US.
So, when asked why food technology companies specializing in lab-grown meat have still largely focused on producing beef, he said, "I know there are certainly technological obstacles that we were able to overcome, which is why this is such an exciting unveiling, but I can't speak for other groups at to why nobody else had produced this so far. We're pretty excited to be leading this movement." This new “clean” chicken is said to be grown "humanely" in stainless steel bioreactor tanks wherein no grain, no water, and no waste were involved.
However, the fine-tune taste, texture, and nutrition of the said meat won’t probably be bursting in your mouth yet. He explained that the high cost of this "clean" meat is still an obstacle the company’s trying to solve. "The goal is to eventually be even more affordable than conventionally produced meat," he said. "But that won't be right at 2021; it will likely take a few years."
So I guess we’ll still be waiting a little longer to have a taste of such clean, lab-grown poultry. But at least we now have a little bite of what to expect.