Memphis Meats, a clean meat company, just announced its ambitious goal of launching cruelty-free poultry by 2021. The company hopes this innovation will alleviate the animal suffering and environmental burden that comes with raising chickens and ducks for food.
Memphis Meats’ products are unlike any vegan meat currently on the market because it is real meat. It is not made from vital wheat gluten or vegetables. This clean meat is grown via cellular agriculture — from a sample of animal cells that eventually mature into real animal muscle. No animals are harmed to obtain this sample. According to the company, this scientific method of creating real meat produces ninety-percent fewer greenhouse emissions than raising live animals. There is no need to grow crops to feed billions of animals, it severely cuts down on transportation, it eliminates animal suffering, and it avoids adding hormones into consumer’s food.
Clean meat products have been in development for years, as multiple start-ups work to scale the production and cut the cost for the consumer market. The first clean meat burger was produced in 2013 and cost $330,000. However, significant work has been done in the past five years to reduce the cost and expand the selection of meat options. Many companies have focused on beef as their inaugural clean meat product, but clean poultry may make the most impact.
Uma Valeti, Memphis Meats CEO, explained, “Chicken and duck are at the center of the table in so many cultures around the world. ” Americans alone consume an average of ninety pounds of chicken per year. It is the most popular form of animal-based protein in the States. In China, duck is the consumer protein of choice; the country collectively eats six billion pounds per year. Valeti exclaimed, “It is thrilling to introduce the first chicken and duck that didn’t require raising animals. This is a historic moment for the clean meat movement.”
Clean poultry is already a reality, though not quite ready for the market. Memphis Meats premiered the products at a private tasting sponsored by the Good Food Institute. The exclusive attendees were treated to Duck L’Orange and fried chicken. SuperMeat, a Tel-Aviv-based biotech and food-tech startup, is also working on clean poultry and promises to bring it to the market in “the very near future.”
While the average consumer may have to wait a few years to get their hands on clean fried chicken, clean beef may be available within the year. Mosa Meat plans to introduce clean hamburgers to high-end restaurants in the next one to two years, while JUST claims its Kobe beef could hit the shelves by the end of 2018.
Image Credit: Memphis Meats.