White Meat

Preview image of “White Meat”
  • The next in-vitro project: after beef, lab-grown chicken is ready for the market
  • Photos: Eat Just
Chicken nuggets are Eat Just’s first clean meat output

A Californian food startup is bringing the first lab-grown chicken meat to eaters in Singapore.

The world’s population is consuming more meat than ever, but the cost of industrial farming is high: dwindling land and water, shrinking biodiversity, and
rising emissions. To meet this dilemma, Josh Tetrick, founder and CEO of Eat Just, has delivered a counter-proposal. His Californian food tech business gained notoriety in recent years with JustEggs, a plant-based egg alternative in a bottle, and JustMayo, an egg-less mayonnaise. Now his team has introduced the world’s first lab-grown chicken meat.

Clean meat, also called cultured or cell-based meat, has been globally researched for years. In contrast to common meat substitutes, in-vitro productions are not vegetarian. Cells are extracted from a range of sources like pieces of fresh meat, cell banks and even feathers, without killing the animal. The meat is then grown and multiplied in a controlled lab environment. The theory is convincing. In practice, the enormous technical effort and cost compared to conventional meat production have so far slowed down clean meat mass production.

Eat Just has raised more than 650 million dollars in various financing rounds since its founding in 2011. It has now become the world’s first company to obtain approval for cell-based chicken meat. Since the end of 2020, the product has been available as an ingredient for chicken nuggets in Singapore under the brand Good Meat.

Through a new collaboration with Asian delivery giant Foodpanda, Singaporeans can now order up some Eat Just chicken in a bamboo fibre box, delivered directly by e-bike to their homes.