400,000 years ago, meat became part of the human diet, and throughout time, human beings have needed to kill the animal to enjoy their meat. First, with spears. Then, with industrial machines.
— Josh Tetrick (@joshtetrick) October 17, 2018
Tetrick has teased its arrival on Twitter, using the hashtag #justchicken, and two BBC News reporters were able to try a sample earlier this month — they said it was flavorful, that the skin was crisp and the texture was slightly softer than that of fast food nuggets. Just’s head of communications, Andrew Noyes, told Munchies that the breaded chicken bite prototype might not be the product’s final form, and that the company was also working on a spicy chicken chorizo and a chicken sausage.
To make its chicken, Just used what might be the least invasive method possible. It used a feather from “the single best chicken that we could find,” according to a video it released last year — a chicken with clean feathers, a healthy comb and a nice wattle. Cells from that feather were then collected, loaded into a bioreactor and given nutrients and a scaffolding material on which to grow. Just says growing a nugget takes about two days.
“Subject to regulatory considerations, we aim to make our first small commercial sale by the end of 2018,” Noyes told Munchies. “We have not disclosed where we intend to conduct the sale, but it will be in a foodservice setting — a restaurant or handful of restaurants, not retail.” But those restaurants aren’t likely to be in the US, as the country is still trying to figure out how to regulate cultured meat. “There are a number of countries in Asia and Europe that we’re talking to,” Tetrick told BBC News.