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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday November 05 2017, @03:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the vat-grown dept.

Submitted via IRC for takyon

Cargill Inc., one of the largest global agricultural companies, has joined Bill Gates and other business giants to invest in a nascent technology to make meat from self-producing animal cells amid rising consumer demand for protein that's less reliant on feed, land and water.

Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson, according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup's website. The fundraising round was led by venture-capital firm DFJ, which has previously backed several social-minded retail startups.

They made the first ever chicken and duck meat that were produced without the animals.

The company expects to have a product in stores by 2021.

"They're the leader in clean meat. There's no one else that far along," says venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, whose firm led Memphis Meats' recent $17 million Series A. Before he met Valeti in 2016, Jurvetson spent almost five years researching lab-grown meat and meat alternatives, believing the market was set to explode. "They're the only one that convinced me they can get to a price point and a scale that would make a difference in the industry," he says.

Cargill is the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue ($109.7 billion in 2017).


Previously: Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years

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Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday November 05 2017, @07:21PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Sunday November 05 2017, @07:21PM (#592614) Journal

    I'll add that given the nature of the product (no animal suffering, supported philosophically by PETA as well as less rabid animal activists, less environmental impact, potential to be grown without exposure to antibiotics or pesticides), you could see how this might be sold at a premium in the initial years. This could allow it to compete against "organic", "cruelty free", and "cage free" products that can easily be 2-3 times more expensive than their normal counterparts. For example, in a previous story I quoted a price of $6/lb for bulk Costco chicken breasts. Normal chicken breasts cost something closer to $2/lb.

    It also has the potential to allow the creation of meats that would normally be unmarketable or illegal (at least in some contexts, like the amount you can hunt). Penguin, lion, human (HeLameat?), whatever. Once you isolate the cells, you can grow it.

    And if you can mimic marbling, bone scaffolds, and other characteristics needed for advanced cuts, you could imagine the creation of novel meat experiences that don't currently exist. Like beef in the shape/texture/bone structure of a fish filet (IDK - whatever).

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