Israeli startup SuperMeat, which is developing lab-grown chicken meat, announced today that it has raised $3 million in seed funding (hat tip to TechCrunch) and formed a partnership with PHW, one of Europe’s largest poultry producers.
SuperMeat is among the new crop of startups looking to reduce our reliance on meat and the harmful side effects of raising animals for food. In the case of SuperMeat, the company uses cells that are “painlessly extracted” from chickens and then cultured and grown in a lab.
If successful, the company’s lab-grown meat could help the environment by eliminating the land use, energy and food that goes into raising chickens. SuperMeat also says its lab-grown meat will be healthier for people because it reduces the amount of antibiotics used in meat production. It also helps to thwart pandemics such as bird and swine flu.
While SuperMeat currently uses animal serum, according to its website, the company is developing technology that will eliminate that need, making its products “suitable for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike.”
SuperMeat isn’t alone in its quest to ethically sate the hunger of carnivores worldwide. Both Hampton Creek and Memphis Meats (which is backed by Bill Gates) are looking to create lab-grown meat from animal cells. Then there are companies like Beyond Meat (also backed by Bill Gates) and Impossible Foods (also backed by Bill Gates), which create plant-based meat.
We at The Spoon said alterna-meats was a space to watch this year. Look for more funding news and more innovative meats to hit your grocery aisles and restaurant menus in 2018.