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Offbeat Israel: Bull Sperm a Growing Industry in Israel

It’s the fantasy of many a meat-eater, and thanks to an Israeli company, it is about to become a reality — beef without all the calories.

An Israeli agricultural company and a kibbutz have teamed up to develop cows which produce beef with just a 7% fat content, compared to the approximately 30% percent in normal beef.

Kibbutz Neve Or and the company, Sion, and are planning on turning herds across Israel into “diet herds.” The secret is sperm from the special breed of bull they are raising and a special diet that they have developed.

Sion and Neve Or expect to sell 8,000 “portions” of the skinny-gene sperm this year, and in time put it on the international market. It will be launched at Agritech 2009, the international agricultural exhibition that is taking place in Tel Aviv in early May. There, one will be able to place an order for the sperm for just 13 Euros a “portion.”

You probably didn’t know this (after all, it’s not the type of thing people generally talk about when chatting about the Jaffa orange and other great Israeli exports) but Israel already exports large amounts of sperm.

Israel is a central intersection of cattle sperm import and export as a result of its location and local investment in genetic cultivation of cattle farms. In recent years Israel has exported large amounts of cattle sperm to Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda.

In another mind-boggling Israeli innovation, a company called Innowattech has developed a system that can “harvest” energy imparted to sidewalks whenever we walk around.

Its system, showcased in this slide show, promises to take energy imparted to railways from trains and roads by vehicles, as well as sidewalks by pedestrian traffic, and convert it into green electricity.

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