Quantcast

Slaughter-Free Lab Grown Steak Cast As Ethically Friendly Alternative

Lab-grown meat—also known as cultured meat or in vitro meat—is often cast as an environmentally and ethically friendly alternative to raising traditional livestock.

These slaughter-free products aren't available on the market yet, but the dream is so enticing that Bill Gates, Richard Branson and even Tyson Foods—one of the country's largest meat companies—have made big bets on it.


Now, Israeli food tech startup Aleph Farms said Wednesday it has created the world's first lab-grown steak that has "the full experience of meat with the appearance, shape and texture of beef cuts."

Aleph Farms www.youtube.com

Aleph Farms said the problem with grown meat production is getting the various cell types to interact with each other to build a complete tissue structure as they would inside the animal. But the company was able to overcome this barrier through a bio-engineering platform developed in collaboration with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

"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," Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, in a press release. "We've transformed the vision into reality by growing a steak under controlled conditions. The initial products are still relatively thin, but the technology we developed marks a true breakthrough and a great leap forward in producing a cell-grown steak."

Although some food tech companies have made prototypes of lab-grown sausages, chicken nuggets and chicken strips, Aleph headed straight for the "holy grail" of cell-grown foods: steak, as Business Insider noted. It's much harder to replicate the texture and flavor of a steak compared to, say, burgers or meatballs.

Aleph was able to grow their steaks using four types of animal cells in three dimensions instead of growing only one or two types of animal cells on a flat surface, according to Business Insider. The company also claims that its steaks were grown without using fetal bovine serum.

The prototype steaks took 2-3 weeks to produce and cost $50, Toubia said.

Aleph Farms' product is called a "minute steak" because it only takes a minute to cook.

"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," Amir Ilan, chef of the Israeli restaurant Paris Texas and the chef in the video, said in the press release. "Aleph Farms meat has high culinary potential—it can be readily incorporated into top-shelf preparations or served in premium-casual restaurants, trendy cafes, bistros, or other eateries."

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of U.S. produce most contaminated with pesticides. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

Read More Show Less
A drilling rig in a Wyoming natural gas field. William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images

A U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal leases in Wyoming Tuesday, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when auctioning off the land, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mizina / iStock / Getty Images

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Oats are widely regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat, as they're packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Read More Show Less
JPMorgan Chase building in New York City. Ben Sutherland / CC BY 2.0

By Sharon Kelly

A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Sriram Madhusoodanan of Corporate Accountability speaking on conflict of interest demand of the People's Demands at a defining action launching the Demands at COP24. Corporate Accountability

By Patti Lynn

2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The head of England's Environment Agency has urged people to stop watering their lawns as a climate-induced water shortage looms. Pexels

England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Jessica Corbett

A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.

Read More Show Less
A flock of parrots in Telegraph Hill, San Francisco. ~dgies / Flickr

By Madison Dapcevich

Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.

Read More Show Less