News In Brief

The Future Is… Fake Chicken

Angela Kim Apr 14, 2011

You may have heard Adriene Hill’s story on fake chicken on the Marketplace Morning Report. But, why chow down on something fake when you can get the real thing?

We asked Dr. Fu-Hung Hsieh.

He and his team of researchers at University of Missouri have come up with a sustainable chicken alternative. Check out the video to see how it’s made… and how it tastes.

We talked to Dr. Hsieh about his work and his vision for the future.

Dr. Fu-Hung Hsieh
Professor, Biological Engineering Department
University of Missouri

1) Explain your work in one paragraph.

Develop an energy-efficient technology for producing products that exhibit whole muscle meat-like visual appearance and taste sensation using renewable plant-based proteins and fibers. These products closely resemble chicken or turkey breast meat but deliver more high quality protein. They are expected to appeal to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian consumers.

2) What’s your hope about the future?

More people will be willing to commit themselves to become a steward of earth, make a concerted effort so that their lifestyle will become more environmentally friendly.

3) What’s your fear about the future?

The general public and our policy makers choose to ignore or refuse to face the reality of accelerated environmental changes due to man-made activities. Consumers refuse to make a shift to a more sustainable product and lifestyle.

4) How does your work help prepare for the future?

Our work is just one of many that lead to a more sustainable food product. We hope by providing a product that looks like chicken, feels like chicken and tastes like chicken, it will be easier for consumers to accept and gradually make the shift in their food choice.

5) What advice do you have for others to prepare for the future?

We have to think of our children. Our attitudes and actions toward environmental sustainability will have a profound impact to our future generations.

6) How optimistic are you about the future?

Every crisis leads to a new opportunity. While there might be setbacks from time to time, overall tomorrow will be better. Humans are living longer and lead to more productive lives. The advances in technology, internet, medicine, environmental remediation, and many other key areas will help us confront and overcome many new challenges we may face. We will recognize that we have to be a steward of earth. It is a small world after all.

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