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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

By 2050 there will be an estimated 10 billion people on the planet, producing our food in new ways will let us alleviate hunger and feed them all.

 

Over the past couple of years I’ve been watching the rise of vertical farms, that produce eight times the crop yields in a thousandth of the space with 99 percent less water and 100 percent less chemicals and pesticides, and a trend called Clean Meat, meat, such as beef, chicken, duck, and turkey, that’s grown from animal stem cells in bioreactors and labs without the need to rear or slaughter any animals.  And that was recently approved fit for sale, and human conssumption, by none other than the US FDA. Now, on the back of a $300 million order for clean meat from China, Israel based startup Aleph Farms has just unveiled the world’s first lab grown steak, a milestone on the road to bringing a cruelty free meat product to the market that demonstrates, for the first time, the technology’s ability to imitate the flavour, shape, texture and structure of a classic, tasty, beef steak.

 

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Back in 2013, the first lab-grown burger was revealed to the general public. At the time the burger cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it was seen as a priceless proof of concept for producing beef without the environmental or ethical costs generally associated with meat production, or AKA “the animals.” However, it’s one thing to create a beef mince like protein in laboratory conditions, but growing something that resembles a conventional steak is an altogether different type of challenge.

 

The real deal, lab grown steak
 

“Making a patty or a sausage from cells cultured outside the animal is challenging enough, imagine how difficult it is to create a whole-muscle steak,” explains Aleph Farms CEO, Didier Toubia.

 

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Lab grown meat, or clean meat, generally involves extracting muscle tissue samples from a live animal and then stimulating those cells to replicate in laboratory conditions. A large assortment of start ups are racing to be the first to commercialise this technology and estimates on when it will finally reach market shelves vary from three to 10 years depending on how quickly cost effective large scale production can be developed.

Aleph’s demonstration of the first lab grown steak is an exciting advance in cell cultured meat technology. The company claims the steak takes about three weeks to grow from an initial cellular sample into the steak you see cooked by Israeli chef Amir Ilan in the video above.

“Aleph Farms’ minute steak is thinly sliced and will cook in just a minute or so,” says Ilan, discussing his experience using the meat. “For me, it is a great experience to eat meat that has the look and feel of beef but has been grown without antibiotics and causes no harm to animals or the environment.”

 

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Lab grown meat hitting the market is clearly a case of when and not if, as the technology continues to race forward in both sophistication and efficiency. Traditional meat producers went on the offensive earlier this year beginning political plays to stop these new products from using the term “meat,” and after some early initial wins and amazing developments it seems like the nascent lab grown meat industry will face more than just technological hurdles in getting its product to the market in the coming years.

Source: Aleph Farms

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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