ISRAEL - Farm Produces World’s First Cell-Grown Steak

Arno Froese

Ashdod-based food-tech start-up Aleph Farms has successfully grown the world’s first “cell-grown minute steak,” the company said.

Grown from a few cells extracted painlessly from a living cow—complete with the “full experience of meat” including the appearance, shape and texture of beef cuts—the production of a slaughter-free steak has long been considered a revolution in the global meat industry. The company says the product will not be commercially available for at least two years.

Once cells are extracted from the animal, they must be nourished and grown to produce a complex matrix replicating muscle tissue. The company partnered with Haifa’s Technion–Israel Institute of Technology to overcome a key barrier and enable various cell types to interact with each other to build a complete tissue structure as they would in the natural environment.

Aleph Farms said it has combined six unique technologies enabling the company to lower the production costs of the meat, including innovative approaches related to an animal-free growth medium to nourish the cells and bioreactors—the tanks in which the meat tissue grows.

Cultured meat also reduces the high cost of devoting vast stretches of land, water, feed, antibiotics and other resources typically associated with traditional agriculture.

Co-founded by Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen, part of Strauss Group, and the Technion in 2017, Aleph Farms is supported by both American and European venture capital firms. The company joined the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Food’s prestigious RisingFoodStars start-up program in July.

Arno's commentary

What next? That’s the question many ask. The little country, with a population of about 8 million and surrounded by hostility, continues to be in the world media’s headlines, often by doing things first. Aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet; it’s the beginning, indicating there’s much more to come.

But where is the beef? It’s not available anywhere. One commentary reads: “Can you clarify what you mean? You said lab-grown, and then meatless meat. Lab-grown, AFAIK [as far as I know] is not commercially available and is still outrageously expensive.”

We note that the article originated 13 December 2018 on the Jerusalem Post website.

Of course, animal protection agencies are very keen to produce this type of meat. There is little doubt that, as time goes by, such “meat” will be available to the public.

How are we to view this development? The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 10:25: “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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