ISRAEL - Halal-Certified, Cultivated Meat

Arno Froese

Aleph Farms is seeking to become the first halal-certified cultivated meat producer.

The maker of cultivated meat—meat that comes from non-modified cattle cells—announced that it has inked a deal to buy a Modi’in-based manufacturing facility and related equipment from biotechnology company VBL 
Therapeutics for about $7.1 million. 

In parallel, Aleph said it entered into a partnership with Singapore’s ESCO Aster, a contract manufacturing organization, to establish a facility for the production of cultivated meat in the country with a capacity to produce 10 to 20 tons of its steaks per year. 

To produce its meat, Aleph leverages the ability of animals to grow tissue muscle constantly and isolates the cells responsible. It then reproduces the optimal conditions for these cells to grow into tissue, basically growing meat outside the animal. 

The certification, if attained, is part of Aleph’s strategy to expand its footprint to Southeast Asia, where about 42% of the population is Muslim, the startup said.

In January, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau determined that the cultured meat produced by Aleph, though not necessarily all cultured meat, is indeed kosher and that it is “pareve,” designating a food that is neither meat (sometimes referred to as fleishig) nor dairy (milchig)., 2 March 2023

Arno's Commentary

We note the words “fleishig” and “milchig,” meat and milk respectively in Yiddish as well as German. That is the cornerstone of Jewish dietary law: distinguishing kosher from non-kosher. Wikipedia explains kosher food as not mixing dairy products with meat; it’s based on the interpretation of Exodus 23:19b: “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.” The Tanakh reads, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” 

Before the law was given, the Lord appeared to Abraham. Genesis 18:8 documents: “And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.” Thus, unkosher before kosher.

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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