World’s First Lab-Grown Chicken Is Here

Elle Zhan Wei
March 31st 2017

We are no strangers to cultured meat. Back in 2013, professor Mark Post made the world's first in vitro hamburger with cultured beef. Now, lab-grown chicken will soon come to our table, as Memphis Meats recently announced to have successfully grown the first poultry for human consumption.

On March 14th in San Francisco, Memphis Meats held a tasting where they prepared deep-fried cultured chicken strips and lab-grown duck à l’orange, gaining the approval of the testers who said they would happily eat it again. Currently one pound of cultured poultry is around 9,000 dollars, but the company is confident that in four years cultured meat should appear on the supermarket shelves with a more affordable price. "Memphis Meat uses only one tenth of water, and one hundredth of land to produce same amount of meat when compared to traditional farming. But also cutting down the energy consumption by more than half” said Uma Valeti, Memphis Meats co-founder and CEO.

Chicken is a very common food, around 276 million kilos of chicken is consumed every day world wide, that translates into about 55 million chickens on a daily basis. This number is expected to grow even further. Global Poultry Trends predicted a growth of 1,7 kilos per person, from 13,2kg in 2013 to 14,9kg in 2023. Of course it would take a while before lab-grown chicken to catch up to these numbers, but with what's already available and considering what's under way, we are the closest to a box of cruelty-free chicken wings than we've ever been before.

Sources: Treehugger, The Wall Street Journal. Image: Eater.

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