Cultivated Chicken

In June, two companies—Upside Foods and Good Meat—were issued groundbreaking grants of inspection by the US Department of Agriculture that cleared the way for “cell-cultivated” (a.k.a. lab-grown) chicken to be produced and sold in the United States for the first time, bringing slaughter-free meat one step closer to grocery store shelves. 

Receiving a grant of inspection was the second of two major regulatory hurdles the companies had to clear in order to bring these products to consumers. The first required obtaining the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration after a rigorous review process that demonstrated the products are safe for human consumption. 

Unlike plant-based meat alternatives that mimic the flavor of meat, cell-cultured meat is identical to animal flesh down to the cellular level and therefore identical in taste and texture. It is produced by harvesting cells from animal tissue, which are then fed nutrients within a steel-tank bioreactor, causing them to grow and multiply into the final product. 

For now, Upside Foods and Good Meat are partnering with restaurants in San Francisco and Washington, DC, respectively, to put cell-cultivated meat on the menu. Eventually, they hope to scale up and offer their wares in grocery stores.

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