From bleeding vegan burgers to franken-meatballs, alternative meats have been taking the world by storm, and recent improvements put traditional veggie burgers to shame. Memphis Meats has now created the world’s first man-made chicken. The meat-free company — teaming up with Netherlands-based Mosa Meats — showed off its chicken strips made out of lab-grown animal stem cells to a group of hungry testers with the Good Food Institute. Early testers claim — ironically — that the product “tastes just like chicken!”
“The duck a l’orange was tender and juicy and loaded with savory flavors,” Emily Byrd, a spokesperson for the Good Food Institute, told Gizmodo. “They really nailed the texture and mouthfeel. It’s funny to talk about, because it’s one hundred percent real meat, so it tasted like what it was: meat.”
So, how does it work? The cells from Memphis Meats’ “clean meat” are harvested from “high-quality, living chickens.” The meat is then grown in a lab using water and nutrients. The whole process takes about four to six weeks and does not harm any living chickens.
The process has been practically perfected; the only issue right now is bringing the cost down. Right now, given the intricate processes involved, one pound of lab-grown chicken would cost $9,000. Steve Myrick, the company’s vice president of business, estimates that the cost will be comparable to current market prices by the time the manmade chicken hits stores in 2021. Besides the astronomic cost, many Americans still can’t get over the “ick” factor.
“We feel that for most consumers, once they learn about conventional meat processing, it will become a relatively understandable and compelling offering for them,” Myrick told Eater.