During recent interview during technology conference CeBIT in Germany, Josh Tetrick, CEO of food technology startup JUST, confirmed that the company will debut its slaughter-free chicken this year. “Think about what we believe to be basic rights—freedom of speech, everyone deserves the right to have an education,” Tetrick explained. “These are basic rights that most people agree with, and I think eating well, just eating food that is good for us, that is not depleting to the environment—I think that should be a basic right, too.” JUST has been developing its JUST Meat product—a “clean” or “cultured” alternative to traditional animal meat that is grown from a small amount of animal cells in a laboratory setting—for several years using its proprietary technology to create a plant-based growth medium for animal cells. “In the animal kingdom, we can take a cell from that animal, without killing the animal, feed it nutrients and then grow it, or brew it in the way you might brew beer,” Tetrick said. “So there’s a big toolkit in nature that we can use to make all sorts of products and big categories better, and we have to do it as fast as we can.” When JUST Meat debuts, the company—which is known for its eggless JUST Mayo products, along with other plant-based alternatives to animal products—will become the first to release a clean meat product, with other startups (including fish-focused Finless Foods, Israel’s SuperMeat, and Silicon Valley-based Memphis Meats) following closely behind in coming years.
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