Aleph Farms is not using antibiotics and monitors every step to prevent contamination. The nutritional value of their steak will initially be similar to that of a conventional steak, by the time of commercial launch the scientists are planning to reduce the amount of saturated fat and add vitamins that are frequently missing in the vegan diet. The first commercial prototype is expected by the end of 2020 followed up by pilot production and scaling in 2022-2024.
In the future, we will be able to grow meat in the cities and solve the problems with transportation, carbon footprint and food security. At the moment, many countries cannot grow cattle because of land constraints or weather conditions. The cellular meat industry will allow us to bring high-quality slaughter-free meat anywhere in the world.
In addition, cell-based meat industry fits into the circular economy by recycling part of other players' side products. One of the largest problems in the plant-based world today is a huge amount of starch that is left behind after the protein extraction. This starch can be used to feed the cells for the cultured meat.
Cultivated meat is in direct line of the social evolution of modern societies. Hundred years ago, animals were slaughtered on the central squares and citizens were not shocked by that. Society evolved and slaughterhouses were moved to the outskirts. We don't want to know where the meat comes from anymore because it is unattractive and makes us feel worse. Clean meat is good for all the parties: us, animals and our planet.
Cell-based pork from Higher Steaks
Co-founders of UK startup Higher Steaks Benjamina Bollag and Stephanie Wallis are working on creating cell-based pork meat. There are quite a few challenges working with pork: it is harder to obtain induced pluripotent stem cells that can be brought back to the embryonic stage and grown into different types of tissue.
Secondly, compared to beef, pork is perceived as a low-cost product. Finally, it is not accepted by many people for religious reasons. Nevertheless, the pork industry is a huge market and the demand for it is growing constantly.
We are about to face a massive problem in the pork meat supply. African swine fever virus is going to wipe out 1/3 of Chinese pork supply which is about 16 million tons. 10 countries in Europe are already affected by this virus. In this scenario, we just have to come up with an alternative sustainable solution which will also help us tackle the foodborne illnesses.