A food-technology startup based in the Bay Area announced this week that it had produced the world's first chicken strips grown from animal cells in a lab—no actual chickens required.
Memphis Meats dished up deep-fried samples of the its poultry Tuesday in San Francisco, the Wall Street Journal reported, and those who sampled it said that while it seemed spongier than a whole chicken breast, it basically tasted like the real thing. The company also touted a piece of lab-grown duck served with orange sauce.
But don't expect to see high-tech chicken tenders hit your grocery store soon: The company estimates it costs under $9,000 to make one pound of the meat, the Journal reported. Memphis Meats expects price should come down in the next several years and let them offer their products publicly in 2021, according to Business Insider.
The ultimate goal: Cater to America's massive appetite for poultry while ditching the meat industry's less savory side effects.
"Americans spend roughly $90 billion per year—just on chicken," Memphis Meats said in a statement Wednesday. "But while poultry products are delicious and satisfying, the process by which they are made is not. It involves environmental degradation, animal welfare concerns and public health risks."
The average American consumes about 7,000 animals in their lifetime, and current rates of meat consumption require a considerable toll on land and water resources while resulting in greenhouse gasses. Memphis Meats, which calls its product "clean meat," debuted a lab-grown meatball last year and plans to produce Thanksgiving turkey.