Move over Quorn—there's a new 'cruelty-free' meat alternative in town.
A lab-grown cultivated 'chicken' that's bound to divide opinion debuted over the weekend.
Food tech company Eat Just showcased a new version of its GOOD Meat 'cultured chicken' for the first time at the COP27 climate conference, where delegates were able to try a chicken satay without a single chicken being killed.
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Unlike fake meat, which uses plant-based protein, cultivated meat takes animal cells from a live animal and then grows these into meat proteins in a lab. This means you're actually eating chicken meat, even if it didn't come from a living creature.
The 'lab-grown' meat has previously only been approved for consumer purchase in Singapore, where customers can tuck into cultivated chicken takeaway from three different restaurants across the city.
Now it could be going international after being sold at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, where politicians and business bigwigs met last week to decide the fate of the planet.
Josh Tetrick, the CEO of Eat Just, said: "We hope that our guests at COP27 will find their cultured chicken dishes both delicious and thought-provoking, and leave the summit with a new appreciation for the role food innovation can play in addressing the global climate crisis."
He added: "Singapore was the first country to allow the sale of meat that didn't cut down a single forest or displace animal habitat to produce, and we look forward to other countries following suit."
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One long-term vegan, Guardian reporter Damian Carrington, said trying the GOOD Meat 'chicken' was his first taste of meat in four years. He said it is "far superior' to the plant-based chickens he has tried, which are growing in popularity in the UK. He tried something similar to goujons, and said it 'tastes like thigh meat, more flavoursome and moist than breast meat'.
With chicken meat and eggs estimated to produce around 790 million tonnes of CO2 pollution every year, this sort of 'lab grown' meat could finally bridge the gap between vegan 'fake meats' and the real thing—without causing harm to animals. But some carnivores might still refuse to try anything but the original.
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