Can creating real meat without real animals ever be possible? Israeli startup Aleph Farms claims the answer is yes — it has created the first lab-made steak. No, not soy or mushrooms that look like steak, real steak. Complete with blood vessels.
The meat problem is one that has confounded the food world and environmental scientists. Despite reports that show that avoiding meat is the most effective way for individuals to reduce their environmental footprint, the average consumer ate 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry this year, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Making meat from animal cells, a clean, efficient, environmentally-friendly process relegated to a laboratory and not a slaughterhouse, always seemed like the stuff of science fiction. But in a recent press release, Aleph Farms (tagline: “Better for people, better for the world”) revealed that it has created a prototype steak, complete with blood vessels. One of the previous complaints about previous attempts at lab-grown meat was that it wasn’t very juicy. With blood vessels on the table, Aleph’s lab-grown burgers might taste just like the real thing.
“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, Aleph Farms, CEO, said in the press release. “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.”
Aleph Farms is part of an incubator that housed Sabra, one of the world’s biggest hummus manufacturers.
Shira Feder is a writer. She’s at email@example.com and @shirafeder