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Restaurants Science Technology What's New

Chicken Nuggets Made Without Harming A Single Bird Will Hit Restaurants This Year

JUST, who used to be known as Hampton Creek, just shocked the world by announcing that they intend to get cultured chicken nuggets into restaurants by the end of 2018.

That means that JUST can take something like a chicken feather and turn it into nuggets. They’re not actually adding the feather into anything, but are instead using it as a tissue sample from which meat can be cultivated.

chicken nuggets

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST’s head of communications, Andrew Noyes, described it as a “small, harmless biopsy” that inflicts no pain on the animal.

From there, the best cells are grown from that sample, and production afterward is quick, taking just a few weeks. In the largest commercial scale JUST hopes to reach, it would take two days to produce enough meat to make a chicken nugget.

Their team is working on improving that production efficiency, including the creation of a serum-free media that’s one of the bigger challenges to scaling and commercializing that process. However, JUST does have enough production capacity at this point where they’re ready to unleash cultured chicken nuggets to the world.

 

Product concept illustration courtesy of JUST. Not an actual product or something being created in the near term.

 

 

Pending regulatory approval, JUST aims to complete their first sale of the nuggets (or another chicken product) by the end of the year. This will likely not happen in the United States, where the USDA and FDA are still hashing out regulations, however, small-scale restaurants in other parts of the world may be able to incorporate them soon.

Just last year, food technology company Memphis Meats announced it was working on lab-grown fried chicken, and it came with a notice that they were planning to have the “cultured meat” in grocery stores by 2021. It seemed like a far time away, and looked like nobody else was as close to a commercial product as they were, but JUST undercut that time frame with this announcement.

The end of year launch would be far faster than anyone anticipated, and accelerates the “clean meat” movement into the present day, rather than as a part of the future.

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Science Technology

Tyson Invests In Memphis Meats, Lab-Grown Meat Will Debut Before You Know It

Poultry giant Tyson is continuing its investments in the future of meat by getting involved with a lab-grown meat startup: Memphis Meats. Tyson’s involvement could mean that we get this so-called “clean meat” in stores a lot sooner than expected.

memphis meatsPhoto courtesy of Memphis Meats

Memphis Meats made waves early last year when they debuted a piece of lab-grown fried chicken. Made without killing a single bird, muscle cells are instead extracted from an animal and grown on a medium that allows it to swiftly replicate into pieces of meat. Memphis Meats has also made “clean” beef meatballs and duck using their proprietary technology.

Tyson’s new minority stake in the startup shows their commitment to looking at new ways to produce meat or meat analogs. It also increases the sustainability image of the firm, as lab-grown meat can potentially decrease water/land usage and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 percent compared to traditional livestock raising.

Terms of the investment were not disclosed in the company’s press release, but Tyson now joins big names like Bill Gates, Cargill, and Richard Branson as minority owners in Memphis Meats.

Tyson has also recently injected more money into Beyond Meat, a plant-based burger company already taking hold in grocery stores across the nation. The chicken-producing empire owns more than 5 percent of Beyond Meat at this point.

For Memphis, Tyson’s new investment means the opportunity to accelerate product development. As of last year, the cultured meat company was hoping to have its meat in stores by 2021. The fresh injection of cash should accelerate that timeline, as Memphis is currently looking to expand its team to make that possible.

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Animals Health News Now Trending Products What's New

This Piece Of Real Fried Chicken Was Made Without Killing A Single Bird

Photo courtesy of Memphis Meats

What if I told you that the piece of fried chicken above was real chicken… but no bird had to be killed to make it? Would you believe me?

Well, whether you do or not, that’s what the above piece of chicken is. And it’s a world first.

Cultured meat producer Memphis Meats unveiled their newest lineup of “clean poultry” meats, which included pieces of duck and chicken that were grown in cultures and didn’t require the death of a single animal to produce.

While Memphis Meats and other cultured meat producers around the world have displayed their ability to create pieces of lab-grown, or “clean,” beef in the past, this is the first time that any company worldwide has been able to develop a piece of real poultry from just cultured poultry cells.

Photo courtesy of Memphis Meats

The company did invite a group of taste-testers to a kitchen in San Francisco to sample the chicken and duck for themselves. The chicken was prepared Southern style and deep fried, while the duck was served a l’orange. According to the Wall Street Journal, tasters described the chicken strip as slightly spongier than a chicken breast, but almost spot-on in terms of flavor. All of them said they would eat it again.

Photo courtesy of Memphis Meats

It definitely looks like a piece of chicken breast when cut open, as well.

Memphis Meats develops their cultured meat products in preparation for a future where traditional forms of meat production are no longer sustainable, since they use up too many of our natural resources, especially water and land. By culturing the meat cells and turning them into real meat products, Memphis Meats claims they can use up to 90% less water, land, and greenhouse gas emissions whilst eliminating the need for slaughterhouses.

Their efforts are backed by animal-welfare advocates, including PETA, which normally is against any form of animal consumption.

Memphis Meats aims to have their production scaled up and cost down to a point where they can sell their meats in stores by 2021.

Hey, if it tastes good and helps save the planet, I’m totally down.

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Animals News Technology

New Research Says The Future Of Bacon Will Keep Pigs Alive And Happy

bacon-stk-2016-oct-01

We may be able to enjoy all of our bacon-laden products without slaughtering any pigs in the future.

New research that was just published in the acclaimed scientific journal Nature made huge steps in the development of cultured (or lab-grown) pork products. Researchers were able to extract pig cells and naturally activate them to grow into specific muscle/meat tissues, which could include pork belly.

Additionally, the scientists were able to develop a cultured medium for the cells to grow on, meaning that TWO huge steps forward in the production of cultured pork were performed in a single study. Incredible.

Research around cultured meat products has been growing in recent years as consumers and scientists look to alternative forms of protein to feed the planet. Conventionally raised animals are unsustainable to continue to produce without exhausting the world’s natural resources.

Pork, for example, takes 19 pounds of grain and 576 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat. Cultured meat cuts that amount significantly by eliminating the need for grain and reducing water needs for the cultured medium.

The big question with cultured meat lies in the texture and acceptability of the final product. Memphis Meats has been doing well so far with the reception to their cultured beef meatball and fajita meat.

When it comes to bacon and other pork products, however, it’s unsure if consumers would be willing to try bacon “grown out of a petri dish”. It would be perfectly similar to bacon taken from a slaughtered animal, and ethically more appealing to consume since no animals would be killed. PETA is even funding research to help make these cultured ethical meats happen, according to the Kansas City Star.

Personally, I would rather eat that clean meat to help make the planet a better place. That, however, might be different from how you feel.

So, would you eat bacon if you knew that it was grown in a lab and didn’t come from a slaughtered pig? What’s your take on cultured “clean meat?”

We’d love to get that discussion started.

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Health Hit-Or-Miss Products Technology What's New

This ‘Clean Meat’ Company Wants YOU to Help It Save Meat For the Planet

You probably clicked on this article because you had no idea what is meant by the term “clean meat.” It’s something you should definitely get to know, because it is spreading and trying to go global right now.

Before we explain how that’s happening, let’s talk about what exactly clean meat is. It has nothing to do with how animals are raised, antibiotic usage in livestock, the physical contamination of meat by feces or pathogens, or any of the common issues from raising animals.

Clean meat doesn’t even come from butchering live stock. Simply put, it’s lab-grown meat.

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Photo: Newsweek

By growing meat from stem cells in culture, companies like Memphis Meats are able to produce meat that doesn’t factor in the environmental, social, or labor costs of growing, raising, and slaughtering livestock – hence, the “clean” terminology that they use to describe their cultured meat.

The company has estimated that they can use 90 percent less water and land while producing 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions by raising cultured meat rather than actual livestock – making clean, cultured meat products much better for the environment and reducing the need to raise more livestock.

Environmentally, it’s become clear that the consumption of meat – especially at the levels that it’s consumed at in America – will have significant impacts and is not sustainable for the future of food. In that future where cattle and other animals are difficult to raise because the environmental supply is gone, companies like Memphis Meats aim to deliver meat to a world that isn’t able to raise it anymore.

Additionally, the company has been able to show that their meat isn’t just more environmentally-friendly – it’s also safer and healthier. Cultured meat means that less pathogens can get into the meat supply and contaminate it – leading to less food-borne illnesses.

Memphis Meats has spent a while researching to develop their meat, and revealed their first clean meat product – a meatball – to the world earlier this year. While it will take some time to scale up and have the meatballs ready to sell to the world, everyone was very excited to see the meatball’s success.

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Photo: Memphis Meats

Now, Memphis Meats wants to get their products and vision for clean meat spread to the rest of the world. By slanging their meat globally, they can develop worldwide scales of beef or other meats without ever having to kill a single animal.

To reach this goal, Memphis Meats recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to help make this possible – and with a month left to go, they’re already almost halfway to their goal.

If this article has made you interested at all in clean meat, or has left you wanting to taste it, then head on over and help Memphis Meats out. What they’re doing is revolutionary, tasty, and could potentially save meat for the planet.

 

(UPDATE: Looks like Memphis Meats isn’t just making meatballs anymore – check out this new footage of a slice of cultured beef fajitas! The footage was just released by Techcrunch.)