Cultured Meat Is So Close You Can Almost Taste It
The technology of cultured animal meats has come in a very short time. Prices have declined to the point that these products are competitive – although not on parity – with animal products. Pioneer Mosa Meat reportedly spent $280,000 to create the first cultured beef burger in 2013. Israel’s Future Meat Technologies claims to have reduced the production cost of a 4-oz. cultured (but partially plant-based) chicken breast to $7.50, and beef for less than $16 per pound.
Several companies are gearing up to make production quantities of their products. BlueNalu is completing a 40,000-sq.-ft. pilot facility in San Diego “that enables limited volumes under GMP conditions and global best practices in food safety,” a spokesperson told us. Israel’s Future Meat Technologies raised $347 million in investment back in December, the largest single fundraising to date for a company in the cultivated meat space, in part to build a U.S. plant. While Pioneer Memphis Meats, which has rebranded itself as Upside Foods, last November opened its Engineering, Production and Innovation Center (EPIC), claiming the 53,000 sq. ft. facility in Emeryville, Calif., is the most advanced cultivated meat production facility in the world.