Takes courage to admit that.
There's endless buzz over lab-grown meat — or "cultivated" or "cultured" or "synthetic" meat, depending on the specific marketing strategy — which is made from real animal cells grown in bioreactors.
Aside from some lingering issues surrounding its viability and price, a key question on everyone's minds is: how does it taste? Now, maybe we can add another one: how does it digest?
Luckily, John Wenz at Inverse decided to take one for the team and find out for himself.
Bravely, Wenz admits that he was "weirdly gassy the rest of the day." That can't be definitively attributed to the ersatz chicken, but it is suspicious.
"While this isn't abnormal for me, and it's impossible to draw a direct connection between my bloating and the lab-grown meat without further tastings," he wrote, "I had to mention it."
Pressed for further details by Futurism, Wenz clarified that "it wasn't like, crampy or painful." But "my digestive system was like 'hmm what's this, I may not like it,'" he added.
The lab-grown chicken was produced by UPSIDE Foods. You may recognize the name — last November, the pretend poultry peddlers received its first go-ahead from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), bringing it closer to full approval for consumer consumption.
Note the closer, as it's not quite ready to hit the shelves yet. But in the meantime, we can turn to Wenz's tasting as food for thought. His verdict?
"It was… decent," he wrote, calling the texture "close but slightly uncanny."
He also recorded himself eating the chicken with the company's chief food scientist, Daniel Davila.
"Yeah, that's getting there," he began.
After a brief struggle to get a morsel of meat and a piece of plum tomato on the fork, Wenz remarks that "some of the chew is just about there" and that it's "almost between a chicken and a fish."
Long and Windy Road
While the tech's getting closer, there might still be a ways to go.
For one, the product still needs approval from the US Department of Agriculture. And even then, it would only be for this specific cultivated chicken product — not an approval for lab meat in general.
Uncertainty remains around the long term health effects of consuming lab grown meat, too.
And there's also the question of price. As of now, it will be way too expensive for ordinary folks to afford, and in the case of UPSIDE's product in particular, is planned to solely be debuted through select, boutique restaurants and prepared by a Michelin star chef. So, it's not exactly McDonald's bound quite yet.
Read more: Lab-grown chicken could hit store shelves soon — here's how it tastes [Inverse]
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