What is real food?
What I talk about when I talk about what makes food "real," marketing of "new foods," and a recent poll about climate eating.
I attended the Good Food Institute’s annual conference in San Francisco this week. It was held at Fort Mason—a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is also the most visited national park in the United States, but that’s mostly because it includes Alcatraz and Muir Woods.
After two years of virtual conferences, it was wonderful to be back in person. It meant I could do things like meet Mark Post. (I signed a book for him!) Post was the first to take the idea of growing animal cells outside of an animal (in vitro) and turn it into something meaningful (a hamburger). He’s responsible for turning the talked about idea into a reality now comprised of around 150 startups. Post’s first burger cost $330,000 to make. At Bar Crenn you can get a 6-course tasting menu for $150 that includes a small portion of Upside Foods cultivated chicken.
One fifty is a far cry from $330,000, but I’m guessing the chicken costs more than what Upside is selling it to the restaurant for. And in a surprise twist, if we believe this detailed story in Wired from last week, Upside’s cell-cultivated chicken is almost an artisan product made laboriously by hand. (Not in the many gleaming bioreactors sitting around the company’s pilot plant in Emeryville.)
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