Chicken slaughter? Where we’re going, we don’t need chicken slaughter. As reported by The Guardian, the Singapore Food Agency has just passed a safety review of lab-grown “chicken bites.” The kill-free nuggets are a product of Eat Just’s new brand GOOD Meat, and they don’t involve the slaying of a single clucker.
Here’s how it works: lab-grown meat, also known as slaughter-free meat, is made by taking stem cells from an animal. Scientists then place the cells in a cozy little petri dish until they grow into muscles and flesh and sinew and viscera and all of the things we love to eat. According to The Guardian, the cells for Eat Just’s nugs are grown in a 1,200-liter bioreactor and then combined with plant-based ingredients to support growth. The cells in question come from a cell bank, and they’re harvested from biopsies of live animals—meaning you get a product with all of the meaty flavor, and none of the fowl play.
The Guardian reports that this is the first time that lab-grown meat has been approved for sale by a regulatory authority. “I think the approval is one of the most significant milestones in the food industry in the last handful of decades,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder of Eat Just, told The Guardian. “It’s an open door and it’s up to us and other companies to take that opportunity. My hope is this leads to a world in the next handful of years where the majority of meat doesn’t require killing a single animal or tearing down a single tree.” A kill-free food system isn’t entirely outside of the realm of possibility: global consultancy AT Kearney predicted that most meat in 2040 would not come from dead animals. The future is now, and it involves nuggets!