(HorizonPost.com) – Last week, the US Department of Agriculture approved the sale of lab-grown chicken from two California companies, the Associated Press reported.
Upside Foods and Good Meats, two California firms that have been competing to become the first American company to sell “cell-cultivated” meat that is grown in a lab, were approved by the USDA last Wednesday to receive the federal inspections necessary to sell poultry and meat in the United States.
Lab-grown meat aims to eliminate “harm” to animals while reducing the environmental impacts of the raising and slaughtering of animals.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration deemed lab-grown meat from Upside Foods and Good Meats safe to eat. A third company, Joinn Biologics, was also deemed safe.
Using cells from living animals, including a fertilized egg, the “cell-cultivated” meat is grown in steel tanks.
Lab-grown meat from Upside Foods comes out of the tank in large sheets that are formed into shapes, like chicken nuggets. Good Meat, meanwhile uses masses of cells from chickens to make cutlets, satays, nuggets, and shredded meat.
According to Ricardo San Martin of UC Berkeley’s Alt:Meat Lab, the approved lab-grown meat won’t be showing up in grocery stores for the time being since cell-cultivated chicken meat is much more expensive than traditional chicken and is still not ready to be mass-produced on a scale needed for grocery store shelves.
Instead, Upside Foods and Good Meats plan to sell the first batches of their lab-grown chicken to restaurants.
Upside has a deal to supply its chicken at Bar Crenn in San Francisco while Good Meat will be available at chef Jose Andrés’ Washington DC restaurant.
While the lab-grown chicken made by Upside Foods appears paler than ordinary chicken meat, once it is cooked, it looks and tastes the same, Upside Foods COO Amy Chen told the Associated Press.
There are currently over 150 companies worldwide that are developing lab-grown chicken, lamb, pork, beef, and fish.
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