What's up with Jerky? And The First Cultured Meatball

Product Reviews
March 07, 2016

What's up with Jerky?

In 2015 we spent almost $3 billion on Jerky according to IRI. What’s up? Remember the days when Slim Jim was about as sophisticated as jerky got? Well now, because of the Paleo diet and consumers desire for more protein, sales of jerky of all kinds are going thru the roof. Sales are up over 12% - compare that to overall supermarket sales that are relatively flat. There are organic, seafood, bison, poultry, game bohemian garlic, cherry maple and of course, sirracha. 

Jerky as a foodstuff is not new. For thousands of years, according to a report in The Salt, “human civilizations have cured, dried and salted animal muscle.” So while it might not be the newest trend, paying upwards of $40 a pound for jerky certainly is.

The First Cultured Meatball

Here at The Lempert Report we talk a lot about innovation and the influx of silicon valley money and intelligence to the food world. Here’s another start up you should be watching.

Memphis Meats, based in San Francisco, has created the first “cultured meatball” – simply meaning lab grown meat from animal cells. According to the company their process produces 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional agriculture and according to the corporate taste tester it’s good and tastes like a meatball. Of course it does – but does it taste like your Italian grandmothers meatballs?

One issue is the cost. It runs about $18,000 to produce one pound of Memphis Meats beef.