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Lab-grown chicken debuts at San Francisco restaurant National & World News

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NEW YORK (CNN) — Chicken made from cultured cells is officially on the menu at Bar Crenn in San Francisco. But you can’t just walk in and order.

About a week and a half ago, the USDA awarded two brands, Upside Foods and Good Meat, Approval to start production and sale of farmed chickens.Cultivated or lab-grown meat is Developed from animal cells and grown in large bioreactors With the help of nutrients like amino acids. This happened in a production facility that looked a lot like a brewery.

On Saturdays, Bar Crenn’s menu will feature cultured chicken tempura served with charred chili aioli and garnished with vegetables and edible flowers. According to the restaurant’s website, chef Dominique Crenn took meat off his restaurant’s menu in 2018 “because of the impact of factory farming on animals and the planet,” but he’s happy to sell farm-raised meat. chicken.

Upside Foods is running a contest on social media to see who gets to try the product at Bar Crenn, and the winner will be able to enjoy it this weekend. They pay a nominal $1 each to try the chicken. Competition winners will also be able to visit Upside Food’s engineering, production and innovation centers.

After Saturday, there are other opportunities to try farm-raised chicken at Bar Crenn, but not right away.

According to Upside Foods, a monthly dinner service of the product will begin later this year. Those who want to try it can register in advance on the Bar Crenn website.

Good Meat also plans to offer its products in a restaurant first, but has not disclosed a specific date. The company is working with chef and restaurateur José Andrés to bring the product to his China Chilcano restaurant in Washington, DC.

Bar Crenn’s debut follows a flurry of approvals from the USDA and Food and Drug Administration, the two agencies that together regulate the nascent plant-based meat industry.

In November, the FDA sent Upside Foods a “no doubt” letter, essentially saying the company had no further questions about the product’s safety and therefore believed the product was safe to eat. Good Meat received a similar letter in March. Then, in June, both companies received USDA approval for their labels, which must say “cell culture.”

Late last month, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service approved applications for “license to inspect” for Upside Foods and Good Meat. These types of applications are “approved through a rigorous process that includes an assessment of a company’s food safety system,” an FSIS spokesperson said. The grants gave the two companies the green light to advance sales.

Because cell-cultured meat is developed from animal cells, it’s not considered vegetarian by Upside Foods or Good Meat.

but it May appeal to ethical or religious vegetarians, because it is produced without harming animals (both companies claim the product is slaughter-free), or those who are vegetarians for environmental reasons. Large-scale farming of meat could use less land and water than traditional farming, experts say.

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