San Francisco startup produces Frankenpoultry for your dining delight

This chicken doesn’t cluck and this duck doesn’t quack.

San Francisco startup Memphis Meats on March 15 announced it had created lab-grown chicken and duck meat.

The Frankenpoultry “is produced by growing animal cells — without any animals,” the firm said in a blog post.

And that’s a world first for poultry, said the company, which last year said it had created beef meatballs in its lab, by cultivating muscle tissue from a cow. But there was a bit of a problem with getting the goods to market: it cost Memphis Meats $18,000 to grow a pound of ground beef, Fortune reported.

The startup hasn’t said how much its poultry and beef will cost, but said it “expects to continue reducing production costs dramatically, with a target launch of its products to consumers in 2021,” according to tech website C|Net.

Americans, according to the company, spend $90 billion a year on chicken alone.

But it wasn’t just the huge market that sent the folks at Memphis Meats into their lab with visions of crispy fried chicken dancing in their heads.

Poultry production “involves environmental degradation, animal welfare concerns and public health risks,” according to the firm’s promotional materials.

The startup’s “clean meat” products start with meat cells taken from living livestock, which remain alive, according to C|Net. Nutrients are fed to the cells while they grow, and it takes four to six weeks for a cell group to get big enough for eating, the website reported.

Memphis Meats reportedly offered samples of its chicken to people for tasting on Tuesday, and those who tried it said it “pretty much tastes like chicken,” the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall).


Photo: Southern fried chicken made with Memphis Meats’ lab-grown poultry (courtesy of Memphis Meats)


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  • Clark

    I would personally not eat this but if other people want to that’s fine for them.