There’s a quiet revolution happening in of all places. Wilson, North Carolina. It’s there that the world’s largest cultured meat factory is taking shape. Believer Meats and its ironically named CEO Gustavo Burger are launching a new food product grown in the laboratory, which Burger says comes from actual animal cells.
We grow these cells, providing them all the nutrients that they need, as a human body, as an animal body that contains amino acids contain vitamins, and we grow those cells in a very controlled environment in moving from flasks to tanks. Once the cell reaches a specific density and growth in that tank, we harvest that product. It goes to a washing process to separate what are the nutrients and ingredients and the cells, and then we have the biomass. After that harvesting process, we have the biomass, which is the basis of the meat and then from that we get to the final product.
Berger tells SFN that production is actually an ongoing process.
Growing the cells until you have meat, whatever shape or form, chicken, can take up to six to eight days. But it’s a continuous process. You harvest in different methods. And then you have the biomass and then it goes through different cuttings and to have the final presentation.
He stresses, though, that the final product is real meat.
It brings the same experience as traditional meat in terms of taste, texture, coloring, delivers the same healthiness, even better because we have much less saturated fats, we have much less cholesterol, and it’s real meat. This is not plant based, which is a different category. This is real meat.
Farmers, ranchers and other animal agriculture producers are naturally alarmed by the prospect of cultured meats from a lab. But Burger stresses his products will be an and, not an or proposition in the marketplace.
If people don’t eat meat due to any dietary requirements or any issue, that’s okay. We are just an element or a conduit to help to solve the problem the supply demand that we have already now in terms of protein, and we’re very proud that in Believer Meats we have immortalized cells of many different species. So chicken is just the beginning. We have lamb, we have pork, we have beef, so it’s all the portfolio for those who are meat lovers.
Burger says the new facility will be producing chicken by next summer with lamb and beef to follow shortly thereafter.