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Upside Foods Hosts Miami Tasting Event On Eve Of Florida's Cultivated Meat Ban

Upside Foods welcome banner

As Florida's ban on cultivated meat is set to go into effect Monday (US Time), California-based Upside Foods held a last minute tasting party in Miami, marking what guests hope is a temporary hiatus for the innovative product.

Both images via: AP News

Excited attendees watch cultivated chicken being prepared

Source: AP News - Guests eagerly waiting their turn to eat cultivated chicken meat prepared by Chef Mika Leon

The event, hosted at a rooftop reception in Wynwood, aimed to give guests a final taste of cultivated meat before the ban is enforced.

“This is delicious meat,” said Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods. (Shown below addressing guests) "And we just fundamentally believe that people should have a choice to choose what they want to put on their plate.”

Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods addressing cultivated meat gathering in Miami

Source: AP News - Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods addressing guests.

Florida's decision to ban the sale of cultivated meat and seafood, grown from animal cells, follows concerns from local cattle ranchers and state officials about potential impacts on traditional farming and consumer safety.

However, Uma Valeti expressed frustration over the lack of direct dialogue with state officials prior to the legislation's passage. “It’s pretty clear to us that the governor and the government have been misinformed,” says Uma Valeti. “And all we’re asking for is a chance to have a direct conversation and say, ‘this is proven science, this is proven safety".

Source: AP News - Prepared cultivated chicken meat

Guests at the tasting party included members of the public and local chefs. Chef Mika Leon, owner of Caja Caliente in Coral Gables, prepared cultivated chicken tostadas with avocado, chipotle crema, and beet sprouts.

"When you cook it, it sizzles and cooks just like chicken, which was insane," Chef Leon said. “And then when you go to eat it, it’s juicy.”

As attendees savoured the unique flavours, many shared positive feedback about the experience. Guest Alexa Arteaga says, “The texture itself is a little bit different, but the taste was really, really good. Like way better than I was expecting.”

Source: AP News - Guests eating cultivated chicken

Despite the enthusiasm, Florida's ban stands as a significant obstacle for the cultivated meat industry, with Upside Foods and others now considering petitions and possible legal action to challenge the restrictions. Watch this space.

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Information in this article via APNews



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