Technology has long been a powerful tool in solving humanity’s greatest challenges. This includes global hunger, where huge advancements in technology, represented by the agricultural revolutions of the past, significantly increased food production and fed vastly greater numbers of people. We fully expect cultured meats to embody the fourth agricultural revolution, and prove to be a significant advancement towards global food security.
The Steakholder Foods, formerly MeaTech 3D, definition of cultured meats is simple: real meat, grown from animal cells without harming any animals in the process, in ultra-clean lab conditions, in less time, using far fewer natural resources, and with the potential to massively scale up to viably feed our growing population. Steakholder Foods, formerly MeaTech 3D, is developing the technology to reify this vision.
Cultured Meat – Numerous Benefits
From our vantage point, the numerous benefits of cultured meats over their industrial, factory-raised predecessors will be many. Here are some of the most important:
- Clean meat: Salmonella, E. coli, and other animal-borne pathogens are serious risks that can and have run rampant on factory farms and contaminate our food supply chain. These risks will be virtually non-existent with meats grown in ultra-clean lab environments. Unlike industrial animal husbandry, cultured meat production facilities won’t house a single animal and will have robust integrated monitoring systems and minimal human interaction, greatly reducing the risk of pathogen contamination.
- Healthier meat: Many consumers are conscientious of what may be in their food – from pesticides applied to cattle feed grains, to hormones and antibiotics designed to accelerate animal growth and keep them disease-free. Hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides are not needed at any point during cultured meat production, so cultured meat won’t contain of these potentially harmful additives.
- Healthier planet: In 2018 alone, more than 300 million cows were slaughtered for food globally and the number is only increasing. Each living animal consumes food and water and emits ozone-piercing methane gas, contributing to climate change and producing copious amounts of waste. Reducing the number of animals raised for their meat means less land allotted for meat agriculture, lower methane emissions, less soil contamination and water pollution, and reduced water consumption, in addition to a host of other benefits.
- Consistent quality: 3D printed meat and 3D-printing technologies offer incredible control over meat production as opposed to conventional slaughter. Meats made using Steakholder Foods, formerly MeaTech 3D, technology will be of consistently high quality. Consumers will know that any piece of cultured meat will be reliably tasty while also being healthier than factory-farm-raised products.
- Feeding the masses: Many nations and regions around the world are too resource constrained to raise enough livestock sustainably to support their populations. Steakholder Foods, formerly MeaTech 3D, cultured meat technology can allow for food to be grown virtually anywhere there is access to electricity, allowing for meat production to take place close to where the meat is consumed.
- The new normal: Just like many consumers switched to milk alternatives, such as almond and oat milk, we predict consumer demand for clean meat will far outpace that of farm-raised alternatives in the coming decades. The caveats include perfecting the technology, increasing awareness of the value of cultured meats, and achieving price parity with conventional meat.
- Making more with less: Using Steakholder Foods’, formerly MeaTech 3D, proprietary technology, we estimate it will take just a fraction of the resources to create 1 pound of cultured meat compared to conventional meat. The latest studies show cultured meat made using renewable energy would reduce the effects of global warming by 92% compared to conventional beef production.
- Designer possibilities: Human tastes and dietary needs differ. With cultured meats, producers can cater to those needs, creating meats with lower cholesterol and fat, adding additional flavor with extra fat marbling, or even fortifying meats with essential nutrients and minerals.
- Reducing animal slaughter: With around 70 billion animals raised and slaughtered for human consumption each year, and the well-documented prevalence of human-rights violations in factory farms, many are seeking alternatives to farmed meat for ethical reasons.
- Saving our precious natural resources, including the rainforest: Cattle farming is one of the primary causes of rainforest deforestation, wreaking havoc on the “lungs” of our planet, a resource considered by many to be essential to long-term human survival.
What qualities of cultured meat are most important to you? This list is by no means exhaustive and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.
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