Lab-Grown Meat Startup Clever Carnivore Opens New HQ in Chicago

Clever Carnivore grows meat from tissue samples through stem cell bioengineering.

Written by Abel Rodriguez
Published on Aug. 31, 2022
Lab-Grown Meat Startup Clever Carnivore Opens New HQ in Chicago
Lab-Grown Meat Startup Clever Carnivore Opens New HQ
Photo: Shutterstock

Meat alternatives like tofu and Beyond Meat are great products for people with vegan lifestyles or even for conscious shoppers looking to reduce their contribution to CO2 emissions or water waste. However, for some, the flavor or the consistency is not quite there to make the switch. For those people, Chicago foodtech startup Clever Carnivore might have the solution, and the company recently expanded to a new headquarters to scale its business.

Clever Carnivore produces meat products, not meat alternatives, without the need to raise livestock. It does this through a scientific process that requires stem cells and bioengineering. According to the company’s website, the process to create meat is similar to the process used by breweries to create alcohol, but instead of yeast, Clever Carnivore uses tissue samples from a cow, pig or chicken to grow cells by feeding the tissue select nutrients. 

As a result, Clever Carnivore produces meat that is identical, on a cellular level, to farm-raised meat and doesn’t have pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. Clever Carnivore’s meats are also more environmentally sustainable and cruelty-free. 

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“We have both the opportunity and the obligation to tackle this problem right now,” Paul Burridge, Clever Carnivore’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, said in a statement. “We can produce healthier, drug-free and cruelty-free meat from live cells without harm. At the same time, we can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and processing.”

On Wednesday, the innovative foodtech startup announced it will open a new headquarters and lab in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, an area that the company calls “Chicago’s academic epicenter.” The new headquarters sits at 4,179 square feet, according to the statement.

The company was co-founded by Burridge, a professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University, along with a team of scientists. To date, Clever Carnivore has raised $2.1 million in pre-seed funding.

According to Clever Carnivore, its meat can be a solution to the rising costs of food in the U.S. and the high levels of food insecurity.

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