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One of the largest meat companies in the U.S. is ramping up its investment in lab-grown animal protein in response to growing demand for meat worldwide.
Tyson Foods, which supplies about one in five pounds of chicken, beef and pork produced in the U.S., announced Monday that their venture capital arm had purchased a minority stake in Memphis Meats, a San Francisco-based "clean" meat startup.
From Silicon Valley tech moguls to business executives and entrepreneurs, these people know that the future of food means not slaughtering animals.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Andrew Amelinckx
Lab-grown meat goes by many names—clean meat, cultured protein, animal-free meat, and so on—and all the various producers, of which there are eight around the world, use the same basic premise. At its most elementary, the process involves taking stem cells from a living animal, say, a chicken, then feeding those cells various nutrients until enough tissue is produced for the desired outcome: a burger, fried chicken or duck a l'orange.
According to boosters of this technology, there are fewer environmental problems with clean meat than the traditional method of raising and slaughtering animals. Producing meat without actually growing and feeding an animal requires fewer resources—a tenth of the land and water, and less than half of the energy conventional meat needs, according to Uma Valeti, the CEO of Memphis Meats, whom Modern Farmer interviewed earlier this year.