Think cultured meat is a technological marvel of the future? Think again. Led by CEO and Co-founder Uma Valeti M.D., Memphis Meats is ready to take on the livestock industry by being the first company to grow meat from stem cells. In just 9 to 21 days, Valeti's team is able to grow cultured meat that he claims is both “identical at the molecular and cellular level” to meat raised on a farm.
In what Valeti calls the “second domestication,” his San-Francisco based company is domesticating cells instead of animals to produce meat, already perfecting its first product: the meatball. In addition, Memphis Meats hopes to have beef, chicken, and pork products in restaurants in the next three years, and be market-ready in five.
The promise of lab-grown meat packs a double whammy. “It is sustainable as well as cruelty free,” Valeti declares, as there is no risk of bacterial contamination or the high saturated fat that comes from animal products. It also uses 90% less water and 50% less energy by reducing the ratio in calories of feed to produce beef from 23:1 to just 3:1.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that every year, 56 billion animals are raised and killed globally for human consumption, and this number is expected to double by 2050. Valeti hopes that in time, his cultured meat “will completely replace the status quo and make raising animals to eat them simply unthinkable.” It's a win-win for meat eaters and animal activists alike.
Written by Donna Chen