Chicken is the most consumed meat in the United States and the world. And yet, the system in place to breed and feed and raise all this chicken is incredibly detrimental to our overall well-being. It props up a conventional agricultural apparatus that focuses on corn and soy production, not to mention fosters a system where the vast majority of chicken available to consumers has been systemically inbred, lacking genetic diversity.
On a smaller scale, this can lead to bland-tasting meat, but it also leaves the country’s supply of chicken open to being decimated by a virus.
Cooks Venture, founded by Blue Apron co-founder Matt Wadiak, is looking to dismantle the existing system, one step at a time. It starts with the chickens themselves.
That strong gut health allows these chickens to be raised on one mix of feed for their whole life. Usually, your standard broiler chicken needs anywhere from three to five different mixes of feed, all blends of corn and soy, over the course of their life. This means that the transportation system gets a hell of a workout for each flock of chickens that is born.
Moreover, the Cooks Venture chicken can eat a much more diverse diet. This is important because it can incentivize the farmers who run 97% of America’s farmland to grow more than just soy and corn.
Cooks has its own farm to grow its feed and its own processing plant for the chickens it raises, partnering with a handful of retailers to sell its chickens to consumers (you can also buy one through the Cooks Venture website).
Because these chickens can handle a more diverse diet, and are more heat resistant with stronger immune systems, Cooks could partner with farmers in areas with extreme heat or regions with food shortages.
Cooks today announced that it has secured $50 million in debt financing from PIUS, which insures the debt against a growing tech company’s intellectual property.