SuperMeat, a Tel-Aviv-based business, wants to revolutionize the entire food industry by rendering poultry slaughter unnecessary. They want to “grow” chicken breasts in labs instead of killing chickens on farms and in production facilities.
That’s right: their hope is that one day, when you think of where your chicken breast comes from, you will picture a man in a white lab coat instead of a weathered farmer in overalls (or a crowded poultry battery). The lofty goals of SuperMeat, as CEO Koby Barak explains, are to “revolutionise the food industry, and promote an animal-free humane solution to world hunger and environmental degradation.”
Since its product comes from animal cells, biologically it would look and taste the same as conventional meat. However, it would have a much smaller environmental impact, would be guaranteed as disease-free, and would not involve any animal cruelty.
SuperMeat has a two-year timeline to perfect its lab-grown chicken breast. Once that project is successful, the company wants to create a device so that anyone — from supermarkets to consumers — can produce homemade chicken breasts themselves.
Animal husbandry has a massive ecological footprint. Nearly 20 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions come from the industry, and the animals have an outsized portion of both land and water resources. Granted, most of that impact comes from the cattle industry, but SuperMeat’s product would nevertheless help reduce the environmental impact of the industry. It could also make chicken — the world’s second most popular meat after pork — cheaper for people to buy, potentially creating a solution to the too-real problem of world hunger.