Cell-based meat – also known as cultured, cultivated, or sometimes slaughter-free meat – will soon be available to buy at a butcher’s shop for the first time.
The breakthrough launch is taking place in Singapore. There, Huber’s Butchery has partnered with food tech company Eat Just. It has done so in order to sell its GOOD Meat-branded chicken.
According to GOOD Meat, which Eat Just launched in 2016, its cultured products are “real meat, made without tearing down a forest or taking a life.”
Singapore remains the only country in the world to approve cell-based meat to be sold and served to the public. However, these have previously been facilitated by limited food service locations only, including fine-dining restaurants and hawker centers. Eat Just also partnered with one of Asia’s largest food delivery platforms, foodpanda.
Now, butcher’s shops appear open to the idea of including cultivated products in their display cases, alongside traditionally produced meat.
Huber’s has developed special cell-based dishes to be served in its on-site bistro. It is considered, by those involved, to be a significant step forward to normalizing the concept of environmentally friendly, slaughter-free animal protein.
“Offering this new approach to making meat at a butchery is another historic moment in the long road to making our food system more delicious and sustainable,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just said in a statement.
“I’m very proud to partner with the Huber’s team to give people a whole new way to experience our cultivated chicken in the new year.”
Timeline to cell-based meat launch
Specially invited guests are already experiencing the dishes that Huber’s will sell to the public in January. Tasting events were arranged to coincide with the anniversary of GOOD Meat being granted regulatory approval in December 2020.
For Singapore’s remaining curious diners, reservations can be made now to sample cell-based meat next month. Dishes include cultured chicken kebabs, stew, and fried chicken skin. Reservations will be taken while stocks of GOOD Meat last.
Huber’s is working with the cultivated meat pioneer due to their shared concerns about quality and food safety, the butchery says. However, the Huber family remains aware that the food system is placing the planet under enormous strain. And, that alternatives to traditional protein sources are essential.
“Cultivated meat could be one of the solutions to over-farming due to increased population size and density and an increase in animal protein consumption in many parts of the world,” Huber’s executive director Andre Huber said in a statement.
Will the US follow Singapore’s lead?
Also making progress in the cell-based meat race is the US.
It comes after the Food and Drug Administration deemed UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated chicken as safe to eat. The decision came after months of investigations. However, it is not yet approved for sale to consumers.
UPSIDE had hoped to gain regulatory approval by the close of 2021 and built a large production facility, dubbed EPIC, in preparation.