San Francisco-based startup New Age Meats presented its “farm-free” pork sausage during an exclusive taste test. The two-month-old company—which specializes in the “rapid development of cell-cultured meat”—treated guests to three sausages it made by growing the cells sourced from a pig named “Jessie” in a lab setting. “It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat,” Business Insider reporter Erin Brodwin, who attended the event, said. “The texture was distinctly sausage-like. After I’d chewed my bite, I wasn’t sure I would have been able to tell the difference between this pork sausage and any other.” The company is part of accelerator program IndieBio—an investor in neighboring Silicon Valley-based clean-meat company Memphis Meats—and received $250,000 in seed funding to pursue its mission of displacing traditional animal agriculture. New Age Meats founders Brian Spears and Andra Necula plan to bring their slaughter-free products to market in “a couple of years.” One major hurdle is fetal bovine serum (a growth medium used in the proliferation of cells extracted from a pregnant cow), which the founders aim to replace with more cost-effective, animal-friendly alternatives in the coming months. New Age Meats is also working on similar sausages made from slaughter-free crab and beef, with the possibility of developing full cuts of meat (such as steaks and chicken thighs) in the future as the technology develops. Earlier this month, Josh Tetrick, CEO of pioneering startup JUST, revealed that his company is on track to be the first to debut a “KFC-style” clean meat chicken nugget on an undisclosed restaurant menu by the end of 2018.
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