WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
The meat you eat has to be raised, slaughtered, and then transported, but now you can buy real meat that never travelled a mile and never lived …
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Amazon and Ocado are growing crops in vertical farms in warehouses, not open fields, companies are 3D printing beef in space, and elsewhere companies have figured out how to feed the entire planet with just one cell from a single chicken without killing the chicken. They’ve also figured out how to grow food from air, create an unlimited supply of beef, chicken, duck, fish, and steak without killing any animals, and how to create dairy without the cow. As I’ve been saying for years now look at it however you want but the future of food doesn’t involve farms or animals … certainly not in the traditional sense. And thanks to some of these developments you could also soon see ethical T-Rex and Zebra Burgers being sold (seriously).
Now KFC have announced they’re going to be selling some of these “futuristic foods” to their punters after they signed a partnership agreement with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to make lab made chicken nuggets, and expanded their agreement with Beyond Meat to create plant based chicken patties – all of which is an expansion of their Beyond Fried Chicken pilots in California.
In Russia, for example, the agreement now means testing the company’s 3D Bio-Printed chicken with KFC bread crumbs and spices to see if their chicken replacement can match the KFC taste, said the company.
“3D bio-printing technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine (to 3D print human organs) are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat,” said Yusef Khesuani, co-founder of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, in a statement. “In the future, the rapid development of such technologies will allow us to make 3D printed meat products more accessible and we are hoping that the technology created as a result of our cooperation with KFC will help accelerate the launch of cell-based meat products on the market.”
Meanwhile closer to its home base in the US KFC is working with the publicly traded plant-based meat substitute developer Beyond Meat on an expansion of their recent trials for KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken.
Continuing its wildly successful limited trials in Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte, KFC announced it’s now setting its sights on the bigger markets in California, near Beyond Meat’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
Beginning next week KFC will be selling Beyond Fried Chicken at 50 stores in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas, while supplies last, the company said.
Unlike the 3D bio-printing process used by its Russian partner, Beyond Meat uses plant-based products exclusively to make its “faux” chicken meat.
KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken first appeared on the market last year in Atlanta and was made available in additional markets in the South earlier this year. The menu item, which was first available in a one day consumer test in Atlanta, sold out in less than five hours, the company said.
“I’ve said it before – despite many imitations, the flavour of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, until Beyond Fried Chicken,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer, KFC USA, “We know the east coast loved it, so we thought we’d give those on the west coast a chance to tell us what they think in an exclusive sneak peek.
Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets will be available as a six or 12 piece à la carte or as part of a combo, complete with a side and medium drink starting at $6.99, plus tax.
Meanwhile, KFC’s Russian project aims to create the world’s first lab made chicken nuggets – even though Just took that title last year as I wrote about – and plans to have a trial version available from the lab this autumn in Moscow.
Popularizing lab grown meat could have a significant impact on climate change according to reports. The company cited statistics indicating that growing meat from cells could cut in half the energy consumption involved in meat production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while dramatically cutting land use.
“Crafted meat products are the next step in the development of our ‘restaurant of the future’ concept,” said Raisa Polyakova, general manager of KFC Russia & CIS, in a statement. “Our experiment in testing 3D bio-printing technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems. We are glad to contribute to its development and are working to make it available to thousands of people in Russia and, if possible, around the world.”