Earlier this year, San Francisco startup Memphis Meats unveiled the world’s first "clean" (i.e., cultured) meatball. It was the meatball that changed the future of food.
In “The Hottest Tech in Silicon Valley Made This Meatball,” Fortune magazine’s Andrew Zaleski spotlights Memphis Meats’ revolutionary creation. In a 360-degree rundown of the meatball—from how it is made to who is funding it—Zaleski dishes the details on the tasty meatball that everyone is talking about.
The meatball is made from cow cells, which Memphis Meats grows in a bioreactor with glucose, vitamins, and minerals. The process is transparent, clean, and sustainable. Said the CEO of Memphis Meats, Uma Valeti, M.D., “It’s like a meat brewery.” Valeti co-founded the company with Nicholas Genovese, Ph.D., a stem cell biologist, and Will Clem, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer who owns a chain of barbecue restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee.
Currently, one pound of clean ground beef costs $18,000. However, investors and venture capitalists have backed Memphis Meats with millions in funding to accelerate its development and help move its products to the market. Other investors, including Bill Gates, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, have contributed funding to clean meat startups similar to Memphis Meats. In addition to meatballs, Memphis Meats is working on clean hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and more. The company hopes to sell its products by 2021.
Along with a lesser environmental impact, reduced health risks, and greater benefits for animal welfare, the meatball offers a taste similar to—and possibly even better than—a conventional meatball. To the taste testers, the sizzle, smell, and flavor of the clean meatball was meaty and delicious.
To learn how The Good Food Institute supports early-stage companies like Memphis Meats and how we can help you, visit our website.