Man-made shrimp are finally here. And although the idea of eating animal flesh created in a lab might put off many people, if worldwide shrimp consumption keeps going the way it is, we may soon find there’s no other choice.

The lab-grown shrimp are the brainchild of New Wave Foods, a San Francisco startup founded by Dominique Barnes, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography graduate with a degree in marine conservation, according to The Atlantic. Along with materials scientist Michelle Wolf, the pair successfully synthesized "popcorn shrimp," which reportedly has the same look, taste, and mouthfeel of the real thing.

According to Tech Insider reporter Ariel Schwartz, who had the honor of trying the first-of-its kind delicacy, the man-made shrimp had the same springiness and mixture of crunch and chewiness that someone would associate with the real thing. However, Barnes said it shouldn’t be confused with other faux meats, such as imitation crab meat, which is made with other types of less popular seafood, or synthetic beef burgers grown from animal cells.

The pair created the synthetic shrimp by analyzing real shrimp on a molecular level to figure out which components they could use. They narrowed their ingredients to red algae, which shrimp eat (and which give them their pink coloring), and protein powder to match the protein content of the actual food. The team combined these components and cooked them in a process that Barnes told The Atlantic was “similar to baking a loaf of bread.”

The idea of making an economically friendly edible shrimp in the laboratory is similar to that of the “test tube” beef burger manufactured in London in 2013. The burger was grown by cultivating stem cells from a cow’s neck in a petri dish. These stem cells were then bathed in cow fetus serum and nutrients, which helped it grow into real cow tissue — one that would never have to see the likes of a slaughter house.

Although their recipe is currently limited to breaded popcorn shrimp, Barnes told Tech Insider that the ultimate goal is to get it to a level where they can make “naked” cocktail shrimp. If they can achieve that, their work would have a major impact on the American diet. Each year, we eat over one billion pounds of shrimp each year, according to The Guardian, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing considering that the crustacean is a low-calorie, high-protein food full of B12 vitamins and phosphorus.

There is a catch, however; if you thought your local restaurant's “neverending shrimp bucket” was too good to be true, you're right. In a 2015 Associated Press report, journalists found that hundreds of migrants (mostly from Burma) were living in inhuman conditions inside Thai warehouses where they worked peeling shrimp for shockingly low wages.

Though they’re both in their early stages, lab-grown beef and shrimp are part of a larger push to develop sustainable food as well as reduce our carbon footprint. At the current rate, raising and preparing just 3.5 ounces of shrimp produces 436 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere, while every 2.2 pounds of beef consumed generates 59.6 pounds of carbon dioxide.