The global lab-grown meat industry reached a significant milestone as the US Department of Agriculture authorized two fledgling enterprises to commence selling cell-cultivated poultry to US customers. As per CNBC’s report, GOOD Meat and UPSIDE Foods have already garnered their inaugural customer orders, and inspectors are set to scrutinize cultured meat facilities in compliance with the health codes and standards imposed on conventional abattoirs and meat processing plants.
On Wednesday, Josh Tetrick, CEO and co-founder of Eat Just and GOOD Meat, expressed his gratitude towards the FDA and USDA for their meticulousness and referred to the approval as a pivotal moment for both the company and the food sector. Also, Uma Valenti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, stated that the decision was a significant stride towards a more eco-friendly future that upholds both options and existence.
Contrary to meat substitutes made from plants, cultured meat is produced by infusing animal muscle or fat stem cells into a culture medium, which is then prompted to grow using a bioreactor. Once finished, creators argue that the end product is nearly indistinguishable from conventionally raised and harvested meat. GOOD Meat was authorized to vend cultured meat to the public in Singapore in 2020.
Even though it was highly likely that the USDA would approve UPSIDE Foods’ cultured poultry as safe for humans to eat, now that they have officially given the green light, it is a significant moment for the industry. This comes as consumers’ enthusiasm for meat alternatives made from plants seems to be diminishing. Over the past few years, opponents have been drawing more attention to the negative effects on the environment and health concerns associated with plant-based meat alternatives.
As per CNBC, cultured meat encounters its unique obstacles in achieving widespread acceptance. These include scalability problems, such as acquiring funds and constructing sufficiently extensive bioreactors to cater to demand. Moreover, there is the matter of determining if laboratory-made meat is truly more sustainable than conventional industries. Several studies conducted lately suggest that such substitutes may be more detrimental to the environment due to their overall energy needs and emissions of greenhouse gases.
Furthermore, the expenses of manufacturing suggest that initial costs will remain exceedingly steep. The initial patrons of UPSIDE and GOOD Meat include a culinary expert with three Michelin stars and a global food service entrepreneur.
Despite all of this, there is still no indication of when those colossal Woolly Mammoth meatballs will arrive at supermarkets.