Lab-grown meat isn’t science fiction anymore. Last month, a restaurant in downtown Singapore called 1880 became the first in the world to serve what’s known as “cultured meat” — meat that’s artificially grown from animal cells, rather than harvested from a real-life animal.At the debut, the restaurant served cultured chicken from the brand GOOD Meat, affiliated with Eat Just, a sustainable food startup based in the U.S. The event followed the regulatory approval of the product by Singapore, which became the first country to give the OK to sell cultured meat in November.
Eat Just, Inc., which last month also revealed plans to jointly open their largest plant protein isolate production facility in Singapore, appears to be the first company to have secured such cultivated meat approval. According to SFA, Eat Just’s cultivated chicken was recently allowed to be sold in Singapore as an ingredient in the company’s chicken bites. Other products reportedly in the pipeline include Shiok Meats’ cultivated shrimp and Ants Innovate’s cultivated meat.
TurtleTree Labs, the makers of slaughter-free lab-grown milk, has just secured fresh capital in a seed funding round totalling US$ 3.2 million. Along with Green Monday Ventures, participating investors include San Francisco’s KBW Ventures, CPT Capital, Sydney-based alternative investment management firm Artesian and impact investor New Luna Ventures.
Rearing livestock such as cows, sheep and chickens is no longer sustainable in the face of climate change.Animal agriculture emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. If the earth heats up by 2 deg C, 13 per cent of the ecosystem hosting plants and animals will be lost.Meanwhile, Singapore’s population is increasing and its nutritional needs comprise 25 per cent protein. High-tech and high-intensity farming will produce the food of the future.To guard against food supply vulnerabilities and ensure that the country meets its meat needs, researchers are starting to grow them – from cells in the lab.