By Shoshanah Marcus, News Editor
Aleph Farms, an Israeli biotech startup firm, announced and revealed the prototype for their revolutionary thin-cut beef steaks at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit on November 20, 2020 in Singapore. These steaks, however, are not technically from real meat. Instead, they are grown from the cells of a living cow.
Aleph Farms was co-funded by The Kitchen Hub, a food-tech incubator, and Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel. Their goal according to their website, is to revolutionize “the field of cultivated meat, growing delicious, real beef steaks from the cells of cows, eliminating the need for slaughtering animals or harming the environment.” Other objectives include “overcoming dependencies on natural resources in food production” and “providing access to healthy nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere.”
In order to grow the meat, Aleph Farms retrieves cells from a healthy cow without killing the animal. These cells are able to grow and regenerate tissue, mimicking the natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration, which eventually forms a piece of meat similar in nature to meat directly from the cow.
The company is driven by the desire not only to produce meat that is healthier for consumers, but also as a means of protecting the environment. “With global demand for meat on the rise, we provide an eco-efficient solution to feed and nurture a clean and thriving planet,” states the Aleph Farms webpage.
Aleph Farms is also focusing on producing the grown meat in an environmentally friendly manner, specifically focusing on “Sustainable BioFarming” and “Ecological Restoration.” This includes the goal of producing grown meat with zero carbon emissions by 2025, promoting reforestation, and conserving natural resources.
Aleph Farms brought their mission to space and collaborated with the International Space Station (ISS) to provide their cultivated grown meat in an environment far away from any natural resources. In order to produce the meat under zero gravity conditions, Aleph Farms collaborated with the Russian branch of ISS to use a three dimensional muscle tissue bioprinter developed by 3D Bioprinting Solutions. On October 7, 2019, this experiment was done and proved to be successful, revolutionizing the way that meat is obtained in space and opening the door for other incredible applications of meatless meat.