We know there are lots of questions about cultured meat.
Let’s get into some answers about what we do, how we do it, and why we believe it’s the right way to make meat.
What is cultured meat all about?
Cultured meat, or cultivated meat, is meat made from animal cells rather than slaughtered animals.
Yes. Cultured meat is meat. It is made up of muscle and fat tissue grown from animal cells and being developed to be indistinguishable from farm-raised meat in taste, texture and smell. The difference, however, is cultured meat’s potential to transform the meat industry by being more sustainable and eco-friendly than farm-raised meat.
They are one in the same.
At this early stage, the question is being addressed among religious communities. There aren’t yet any clear answers. We believe that increased awareness, education and continued developments in this new food category will be the key to wider acceptance within the context of religious customs and dietary laws.
Cultured meat will have a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional meat. According to an independent study, cultured meat, compared to conventional meat production, will reduce global warming by 17% for chicken, 52% for pork, and up to 92% for beef (Source: CE Delft).
Cultured meat will reduce land usage by 63%-95% and surface water and groundwater usage by 51%-78%. It could also potentially reverse much of the environmental problems caused by industrialized farming, such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and runoff from livestock pollution.
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of meat from cattle farming takes 25 kg (55 lbs.) of feed and 15,000 liters (3,963 gal) of water
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of cultured meat takes 0 kg of feed and only 2500 liters (660 gal) of water.
What is Steakholder's approach?
In our headquarters in Israel, we are focusing on beef, pork and seafood. Our Belgian subsidiary is developing cultured avian biomass as an ingredient for creating plant- and fungi-based/cultured-meat hybrid products that offer a meaty flavor, texture and mouthfeel that are closer to conventional meat than 100% plant-based meat alternatives.
Yes. Our cultured meat is made from real muscle and fat cells that have been harvested without harming animals. When scaled up, the production of cultured meat will help reduce the number of animals raised for slaughter.
Steakholder Foods cultured meats are produced in a sterile environment with minimal human contact and no animals. This significantly minimizes the risk of foodborne pathogens, such as E. Coli and salmonella which are commonly transmitted by factory-farmed animals. According to the CDC, three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases in humans come from animals.
No. Antibiotics are commonly given to factory-farmed animals to prevent and treat sickness and to promote growth. Since there is no need to house animals to produce Steakholder Foods’ cultured meat, there is no need for antibiotics.
Our cultured meat tastes like conventional meat because it is produced from real animal muscle and fat cells. With our technology, we will be able to 3D bioprint high-quality whole cuts of meat that are consistently uniform with the desired levels of muscle and fat for optimal flavor, texture, aroma, and mouthfeel. We will also use cultured fat biomass, a product developed by our Belgian subsidiary, Peace of Meat, as an ingredient in plant-based meat alternatives to offer a more authentic meaty taste and mouthfeel.
Steakholder Foods is developing real meat made from animal cells. Therefore, it will not be vegetarian. Vegans might be interested to know that no animal will be harmed to make our cultured meat products.
How do cells fit into the process?
We collect stem cells from cows and pigs without harming any cows or pigs. For poultry, our Belgian subsidiary, Peace of Meat, collects stem cells from unfertilized eggs.
Steakholder Foods is committed to removing fetal bovine serum (FBS), a costly animal-derived ingredient used in cell culture media that feeds stem cells as they undergo differentiation into muscle cells and fat cells. We have already developed processes that don’t require this component and are working to phase it out as soon as possible.
Want to know more about our cultured steaks?
In December 2021, Steakholder Foods printed the largest ever cultured steak with real bovine fat and muscle cells, using our proprietary 3D bioprinting technology and cell cultivation process. First, we isolated stem cells from tissue samples and helped them multiply. When the stem cells reached sufficient numbers and cellular mass, we added them to a bio ink used in the printing process. Then, based on a digital design file, we printed a steak structure. The printed structure was placed in an incubator to mature as the stem cells differentiated into fat and muscle cells which then turned into fat and muscle tissue. And the largest ever cultured steak was complete!
We have continued to make significant progress toward perfecting our steaks. In early 2022, we accelerated and enhanced the formation of living bovine muscle fibers to improve their density, thickness, and length, qualities that will ultimately help make our cultured steaks indistinguishable from conventional steaks in look, feel, texture, and taste.
Steakholder Foods believes that 3D bioprinting is the most effective way to recreate the complex tissue patterns and structure of steak. Our 3D-printed steaks will be personalized for fat percentage, size and thickness, and they will be consistently uniform. Consumers will get exactly what they want and expect every time.
Yes. A lot faster. For a conventional steak, farm to fork is 2-3 years of a complex, high carbon-footprint production lifecycle. Steakholder Foods steaks will be produced in just weeks. No animal breeding, no grazing, no feedlots, and no slaughter. It will be a lot more efficient and cost-effective. And it has the potential to help sustainably supply the increasing demand for meat to growing populations everywhere.