Cargill is investing in Memphis Meats Inc., a company that makes meat from self-reproducing animal cells. The investment is the first by a traditional meat company into the so-called “clean meat” sector, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Neither company has disclosed the size of the investment, but Memphis Meats said Wednesday Cargill’s investment was part of $17 million in funding that also included investments from Bill Gates, and others. The “clean meat” sector claims it is creating products that are better for the environment than meat from traditional feedlots and slaughterhouses.
Cell-cultured meats are far from reaching the dinner table, however, as Memphis Meats can make a pound of meat for less than $2,400, down from $18,000 last year. Further, regulators have not determined how to oversee the process or if it is considered safe. Researchers from Australia found earlier this year that one-third of nearly 700 respondents to a survey in the U.S. would be willing to eat cell-cultured meat regularly. Nearly half said they would choose it over soy-based meat substitutes.