Upside Foods Hosts Lab-Grown Meat Event Ahead Of Florida Ban

Upside Foods Hosts Lab-Grown Meat Event Ahead Of Florida Ban July 1, 2024Leave a comment

Upside Foods Hosts Lab-Grown Meat Pop-Up Ahead Of Florida Ban

Ahead of Florida's statewide ban on the manufacture and sale of cultivated meat, sometimes called "lab-grown meat," Upside Foods held a "Freedom of Food" pop-up event in Miami to give Floridians a taste of what they'll be missing.

The ban goes into effect on Monday, July 1, and the Freedom of Food pop-up was held Thursday at The Annex rooftop in Miami. Guests were able to try cultivated chicken dishes prepared and served by Miami chef, restaurateur, and TV personality Mika Leon.

The menu included tostadas featuring Upside cultivated chicken, prepared a la plancha con sazón, garnished with avocado, chipotle crema, beet sprouts, and fresh lime zest. To wash it down, guests enjoyed drinks from Miami mixologist Gio Gutierrez.

"We believe that cultivated meat is essential for the future of food, and people should have the right to choose what they eat," Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of Upside Foods, said in a statement. "The purpose of this event was to give Floridians a taste of cultivated meat — something the state is unfortunately preventing them from enjoying and benefiting from, both in terms of innovation and economics. Despite Florida's ban, events like this highlight the increasing interest in cultivated meat and its crucial role in shaping a more sustainable future of food."

Cultivated meat is grown using cells from a living animal or fertilized embryo. The cells are cultured in steel tanks, where they are "fed" a mix of water, sugar, fats and vitamins. Once grown, the meat is portioned into cutlets, nuggets or other shapes.

"Having had the opportunity to work with Upside's cultivated chicken, I can attest that their products are delicious," said Chef Mika Leon. "From appearance to aroma and taste, their products provide the same experience you'd expect from chicken. As a chef, I love the idea of preserving the foods we love while using innovation to figure out ways to create a better future of food."

Proponents of cultivated meat, which has been in development for more than a decade ahead of federal approval for sales, say it has the potential to help meet growing demand for meat in a way that's more humane and environmentally sustainable than traditional agriculture.

On May 1, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill criminalizing the production and sale of cultivated meat in Florida. Proponents of the law cited safety concerns, as well as a desire to protect Florida's agriculture industry.

Story via TMX