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Innovation

Meet the New Meat

Cellular agriculture offers solutions to the accelerating demand for meat.

By Bobbie Hartman

Summer 2018

Far from the farm, advocates for cellular agriculture—the production of meat products from cell cultures—say the technology could solve the world’s accelerating demand for meat without affecting the environment. The current price tag of about US$10,000 per kilogram of beef (just 2.2 pounds) makes these cuts hard to swallow. But that’s not stopping new companies from trying to bring new meat to the table.

Open Market

Nonprofit New Harvest is dedicated to establishing the field of cellular agriculture by creating a platform for collaborative research, funding projects, and launching companies that, for example, make milk without cows. According to Communications Director Erin Kim, universities will one day offer degrees in cellular agriculture. It’s a long game and we’re in the early stages,” says Kim. More at new-harvest.org.

Raising the Steaks

Until recently, cultured meat used only one or two types of cell tissue. Israel-based Aleph Farms has developed a 3D technology that grows four core meat cell types on an intricate proprietary platform for a more complex tissue that captures the structure, texture, shape, and flavor of a juicy steak. “It solved the issue of texture and structure of the end product,” says Didier Toubia, cofounder and CEO of Aleph Farms. More at aleph-farms.com.

Image courtesy of New Harvest/NickCounter