Valeti remained a carnivore for more than a decade, until after he had moved to the U.S. for his medical residency. But in time, he found himself increasingly disturbed by food-borne illness. He was especially grossed out by the contamination that happens in slaughterhouses when animal feces get mixed in with meat. "I loved eating meat, but I didn't like the way it was being produced," he says. "I thought, there has to be a better way."
In a tiny R&D suite in a nondescript office building in the unglamorous Silicon Valley exurb of San Leandro, a lanky, red-haired molecular biologist named Eric Schulze is fiddling with a microscope, and I'm about to get a look at that better way. Like the specimen he'll show me, Schulze is something of a hybrid. Formerly a Food and Drug Administration regulator, he's now an educator, TV host, and senior scientist at Memphis Meats, the company that Valeti founded in 2016 and whose laboratory he is showing me. Lining one wall is a HEPA-filtered tissue cabinet, to which someone has affixed a "Chicken Crossing" sign, and a meat freezer labeled "Angus." Along the opposite wall is an incubator dialed to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, the body temperature of Anas platyrhynchos domesticus--the domestic duck.
Fast Company profiles a meat-free fast food chain
Amy’s Drive Thru is America’s first vegetarian, organic, gluten-free-optional fast-food restaurant, and much to the surprise of the owners, it’s doing more than holding its own against its greasy competitors in the Rohnert Park off-ramp complex.
Business has been so booming at Amy’s Drive Thru in its two years of operation that it’s beginning a chain. A new location is slated to take over an abandoned Denny’s further south off the 101 in Corte Madera in 2018, with an eye to five more Northern California locations soon to follow. The ultimate goal, director of operations Paul Schiefer tells Fast Company, is to open Amy’s Drive Thrus all across the country.