Is Cultured Meat the Future of Food?

We are proud community partners of the Cultured Meat Symposium, a hybrid online and in-person event happening on October 22, 23 2021 in San Francisco.

As the name indicates, this event is dedicated to the cultured meat industry. You will be able to witness and participate in discussions and debates about cell-cultured meat, poultry, and seafood technology at scale, as we dive into a new era of agriculture and science. Also, hear from leaders and innovators that are making changes to the traditional sector. If you are one of the lucky ones physically present, take full advantage of networking in real life! 

What is cultured meat?

Cultured meat is created by painlessly harvesting muscle cells from a living animal. Scientists then feed and nurture the cells with basic nutrients in large vats, known as bioreactors or cultivators. As they grow, the cells become the muscle, fat, and connective tissue (as they would in an animal’s body) that make up meat. Finally, the differentiated cells are prepared and packaged into finished products. It is biologically exactly the same as the meat tissue that comes from a cow. The main difference is that by using this method of production, we eliminate the need to raise and slaughter farm animals for food. 

According to the Good Food Institute’s report, cultivated meat companies raised $366M in 2020. This number is nearly 6x the amount invested in 2019. In addition, we can count over 70 companies focused on developing cultivated meat inputs, services, or end products. This number is up from 55 total in 2019. There are more than 15 types of cultivated meat being developed by startups, including beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, duck, white fish, salmon, tuna, foie gras, fish maw, and more.

Where does cultured meat stand in the world?

Although the research and development of cell-based meat has been growing as startups constantly perfect their technology, governments still have some catching up to do when it comes to regulatory approval. As of now, Singapore is the first and only country in the world to allow the sale of cultivated meat. This was largely thanks to Eat Just’s successful creation of cultured chicken in their Singaporian facilities. The startup recently announced their new facility in Qatar, which suggests a possible regulatory approval in the region

Successful startups

These are some of the startups that will participate in the event.

Eat Just

Eat Just launched the commercial sale of its cultivated chicken bites at Restaurant 1880 in Singapore through their brand GOOD Meat. The restaurant sold the product to consumers for the first time via a series of invitation-only dinners in December 2020 before adding it to the menu in early 2021. It is now also available for delivery through a third party app.

Aleph Farms

GFI Israel and Aleph Farms hosted former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a tasting of Aleph Farms’ cultivated steak. Their mission is to feed the world and preserve the planet; while also keeping an eye out for space. The company’s space program, Aleph Zero, is part of their mission to produce quality, delicious meat, independent of climate or availability of natural resources. The startup recently found its name on the news thanks to an investment by Hollywood star and long-time activist Leonardo DiCaprio, who will also be on the advisory board to help guide the new age of meat production to combat climate change.

Orbillion Bio

The startup is on a mission to bring healthy, sustainable and flavorful meats to the modern consumer. Orbillion Bio is looking to develop premium cell-based meat products from heritage cell lines that are directly sourced from farmers, all to accelerate the broad availability of nutritious cultivated meat products from Wagyu to bison to deer. When asked about how the cell-based meat market will influence the traditional meat industry in the next five to ten years, CEO and co-founder Patricia Bubner answered “Especially in the next 10 years, cultivated meat will be an “and” solution together with traditional meat; it can alleviate supply chain issues that have been laid bare in the pandemic. Traditional meat just can’t satisfy the market, especially not in the face of increasing demand.”

UPSIDE Foods

UPSIDE Foods already produced some of the world’s biggest cultured meat achievements such as world’s first cultured beef meatball in 2016 and world’s first cultured chicken and duck in 2017. But, they consider their biggest milestone is yet to come: bringing cultivated meat to consumers. Chicken being the most consumed meat in the US and the most widely eaten across cultures and religions, the decision on their first product was easy: fried chicken.

BlueNalu

BlueNalu’s mission is to be the global leader in cell-cultured seafood. The global demand for seafood is at an all time high. Indeed, consumers are increasingly choosing to eat the great variety of delicious and nutritious seafood products that exist worldwide. BlueNalu aims to provide consumers with great tasting, healthy, safe, and trusted products that support the sustainability and diversity of our ocean. 

Wildtype

Another startup working on seafood cell-based alternatives. According to Wildtype, they create the freshest, cleanest salmon you’ll ever taste. Their product is filled with healthy fats for the flavor that melts in your mouth. Loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fats, their salmon has all the nutritional benefits of wild fish. However, they leave out all the microplastics, mercury, parasites, or other common toxins.

Are you interested in attending this event? Contact us for more information.

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