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Just days after announcing that it has made the world’s first-ever commercial sale of cell-based meat for human consumption to 1880 restaurant in Singapore, Eat Just recently invited guests taste the brand’s cultured meat, marking a historic moment for the future of food and for the advancement of the food technology industry.
After recently becoming the first in the world to gain regulatory approval for cultured meat in Singapore, Eat Just served and sold GOOD Meat cultured chicken bites, made up from 70% cell-based meat produced from animal cells (the remainder is made up of plant protein), to a group of young diners and VIP guests.
This chicken, it’s just chicken, but it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen or ever tasted. It’s definitely made me see how small things, like just changing the way we eat, can literally change our entire lives12 year old diner at the Eat Just Singapore launch
In partnership with 1880, Eat Just has organised a series of four-course dinners that are already booked out through the end of this year. These sales have initiated necessary conversations around the world and have paved the way forward for other countries to also adopt similar regulatory frameworks that will enable cultured meat become a key part of global food systems and become mainstream at restaurant worldwide.
An 11-year-old diner that was part of the launch experience commemorated the occasion by saying: “I’m speechless.” Further commenting on the possibility of this meat becoming more affordable and accessible, he said, “It will save a lot of animals’ lives and it will be a lot more sustainable. It feels good to have chicken without feeling guilty.”
His 12-year-old friend who was also at the dinner added that “This chicken, it’s just chicken, but it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen or ever tasted. It’s definitely made me see how small things, like just changing the way we eat, can literally change our entire lives.”
Additionally, 1880 Restaurant is also keen on featuring more cultured chicken dishes on its 2021 menu. The cultured bites will be prices at parity with other premium (animal) chicken dishes. As we previously reported, the cultured chicken bites were made using a low level fetal bovine serum, which many cultured meat startups are working hard to replace with non-animal alternatives, including Eat Just who told us that “we have also developed an animal-free nutrient recipe to feed our cells. We will bring that to commercialisation pending regulatory review.”
This historic accomplishment is not the result of a single company’s actions – far from it. It’s the result of the imagination and tenacity of Willem van Eelen as well as the many scientists, educators and entrepreneurs in the field who believed in the power of this idea before most of the folks at my company were even born, including me.Josh Tetrick, Co-founder and CEO of Eat Just
In an interview with the Guardian, astrophysicist and cosmologist Martin Rees said that “Eat Just’s progress is one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of 2020 and it is an ethical advance.”
In a press release, Peter H Diamandis, founder of Singularity University added that “the success of Eat Just’s moonshot heralds the beginning of a new food revolution that allows for sustainable, affordable and healthy protein for the rising billion.”
The launch of cultured meat was a longtime vision of British statesman Winston Churchill, who in a 1931 essay, Churchill imagined a world where “we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.” This vision was pursued for decades by Dutch researcher and entrepreneur Willem van Eelen, who focussed and conducted research on how meat can be produced sustainably via cells without harming live animals.
Following van Eelen’s passing, his daughter Ira van Eelen became an advisor to Eat Just to make this vision possible. “My father dedicated his life to the idea that human ingenuity could take this concept from the realm of science fiction to real food that nourishes our bodies. This launch and future developments in the field will forever impact our relationship with the food we eat and the planet we inhabit. This marks the beginning of us doing things better than we have done for thousands of years.”
Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, said in a statement that “this historic accomplishment is not the result of a single company’s actions – far from it. It’s the result of the imagination and tenacity of Willem van Eelen as well as the many scientists, educators and entrepreneurs in the field who believed in the power of this idea before most of the folks at my company were even born, including me. Today, we’re thankful for them and will continue to carry on their important work.”
Alongside the restaurant’s debut of GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken, Eat Just has also launched goodmeat.co, a digital platform that aims to raise awareness among consumers about the importance of this sustainable method of meat production.
Israel’s Supermeat recently made global headlines for being the first non-commercial restaurant to served a cultured meat burger (also chicken) to diners, while Israel’s Aleph Farms also claims a major world first: serving cultured meat to a head of government for the very first time, in this case Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to a recent report published by investment research firm Edison Group, researchers have predicted that the future for cell-based proteins is only going to increase. According to the report, by 2030, the cultured meat industry will be worth US$140 billion, marking an enormous jump within a span of just a few years.
The success of Eat Just’s restaurant debut is the spark a food revolution that if embraced by countries across the globe will lead to a healthier and sustainable protein alternative for the world and help tackle the world’s major food security issues.
Lead image: guests at 1880 Restaurant tasting the debut of Eat Just’s cultured meat, courtesy of Eat Just