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Lab-created chicken to debut at Singapore restaurant this weekend

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
Lab-created chicken to debut at Singapore restaurant this weekend
Earlier this month, the Singapore government approved the sale of cultured chicken by Eat Just.
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Eat Just, Inc., a maker of plant-based eggs and cultured meat, has made the first commercial sale of laboratory-created meat to a restaurant here.

This follows a series of firsts for both the company and the sector. Earlier this month, the Singapore government approved the sale of cultured chicken by Eat Just, becoming the first country to do so.

In a press release, the San Francisco-based company says its cultured meat will debut this Saturday (Dec 19) at 1880, a members-only club along Nanson Road, along with the GOOD Meat brand by Eat Just.

“This historic step, the first-ever commercial sale of cultured meat, moves us closer to a world where the majority of meat we eat will not require tearing down a single forest, displacing a single animal’s habitat or using a single drop of antibiotics,” says Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.

According to Eat Just, the first diners will be a group aged 14 to 18 “who have shown a commitment to building a better planet”.

Diners will take an immersive journey through the past, present and future of the food system, says Eat Just, featuring three cultured chicken dishes inspired by the top chicken-producing countries in the world: China, Brazil and the United States.

See: Singapore becomes first country to approve sales of lab-created meat

“We are honored to host the global launch of Eat Just’s first cultured meat product. This is a revolutionary step towards solving climate change and creating the opportunity to feed the world without overwhelming the planet,” says 1880 founder Marc Nicholson.

“This is a very exciting collaboration for me. It’s working with new ingredients, something very creative, something we’ve never quite seen before and I think people are going to love it,” says 1880 Executive Chef Colin Buchan, formerly of Michelin-starred establishments like Marco Pierre White’s UK restaurant L’Escargot and a former private chef to David and Victoria Beckham.

See also: Slaughter-free meat getting closer to supermarket shelves

In October, Eat Just announced plans to build and operate its first plant protein facility in Singapore, with investment from a consortium led by Proterra Investment Partners Asia.

The group will invest up to US$100 million ($133.26 million) and Eat Just will put in as much as US$20 million in the plant that aims to expand protein production in Asia, according to a joint statement. Proterra Asia, a private-equity firm spun off from agricultural giant Cargill Inc., said the funding will help the company set up a fully-integrated supply chain.

See also: Fake-egg maker to build first Asia plant in Singapore

Singapore is moving quickly to allow the sale of cultured meat, a move that fits into a broader food-security agenda. As an importer of produce, Singapore has deepened its focus on the sector as the Covid-19 crisis exposes fragility in supply chains worldwide.

In an earlier press release, Eat Just revealed plans to submit its application for lab-created beef in Singapore in the first half of 2021, adding that the approval process for cultured meat products is moving slower in Europe and the US.

While the company is yet to turn a profit, Eat Just is planning an initial public offering in the US, reports Bloomberg. “Our plan is to hit operating profitability before the end of next year,” Tetrick says, adding the company would look to go public at some point after that.

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