Lab-Grown Chicken: Here Come the Cluckin’ Future!


A chicken looks confusingly at a plate of chicken breasts with screws in them.
Image created by Dwayne Adderley via Canva


In a move that marks the onset of a new era in the food industry, two companies — Upside Foods and Good Meat — have recently been granted final approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to sell lab-grown meat​​. Yes, you read that right, meat that’s grown in a lab and not on a farm.

From the Lab to Your Plate

This announcement makes the United States the second country in the world, after Singapore, to permit the sale of so-called “cultivated meat”​​. This futuristic fowl involves deriving products from livestock cells that are fed and grown in steel vats, rather than raising and slaughtering animals​. This makes me wonder what will become of all the excess livestock.

Anyway, this approval follows a multi-step process, in which both the USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have determined the meat to be safe for consumption. Upside Foods received its FDA approval in November 2022, while Good Meat got its approval in March 2023​.

First in Line: Upside Foods and Good Meat

Both Upside Foods and Good Meat, which specialize in producing cultivated chicken, plan to initially serve their product at high-end restaurants before scaling up production to reach grocery stores at a lower cost. The wealthy always get first dibs on new things. Upside Foods’ chicken will first be served at Bar Crenn, a restaurant in San Francisco, while Good Meat will sell its first batch of chicken to the José Andrés Group​.

Sometime after, these breakthrough birds will flap their way, wait, they don’t flap. They will make their way to our local grocery stores.

Upside Foods has also announced plans to expand its production capacity with a new U.S. facility that will be 10 to 20 times larger than its existing plant in Emeryville, California​.

The Process of Growing Lab Chicken

In case you want to learn how to make this newest meat, here is how it’s done. Cultivated meat is produced by taking a few cells from a chicken and growing them into tissue inside a stainless-steel bioreactor. Yes, a bioreactor. Now you know what to ask for this Christmas. Inside Upside Foods’ facility, dozens of tissue engineers, scientists, and food production specialists work on perfecting this process​.

Interestingly, the lab-grown chicken is so clean that it could be eaten raw without worrying about pathogens like salmonella and listeria. This is because the controlled environment in which the meat is grown does not harbor these bacteria​. This will make a great conversation topic at your next dinner party.

The taste of the meat can also be manipulated through cell selection, the growing medium, and how the lab meat is processed. The meat is tested in a dedicated room where tasters assess its flavor and texture​. Yum, yum, sign me up.

A Sustainable and Humane Alternative

Cultivated meat companies believe their products offer a more environmentally friendly and humane alternative to traditional meat products. Livestock production accounts for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Therefore, lab-grown meat could be a significant step towards reducing this impact​.

Looking Forward

While Upside Foods and Good Meat have made a significant breakthrough, they are yet to announce an exact timeline for when their products will be available to the public. So don’t put on your aprons yet. The pioneering companies are, however, optimistic about the future of lab-grown meat and its potential to revolutionize the food industry​.

Our future is looking bright. Lab grown diamonds; lab grown chicken. I can’t wait for lab grown cereal.

Please note that while this article covers many aspects of lab-grown chicken, additional research is needed to explore the potential health implications, consumer acceptance, and other socioeconomic impacts. In addition, I recommend a deeper look into the process of lab-grown chicken production, as the information available only provides a high-level overview.



Dwayne Adderley, MBA,LPQ

Business Consultant, Entrepreneur, and Writer. Subject matter expert in Business Operations, Aviation and Loss Prevention.