Scientists grow 'meat' in space

Aleph Farms cultured meat steak

Bovine cells were harvested on Earth and taken to space, where they were grown into small-scale muscle tissue using a 3D bioprinter.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly (R) and Kjell Lindgren style greens grown in house on the Worldwide House Station in 2015.

"In space, we don't have 10,000 or 15,000 liters of water available to produce one kilogram of beef", Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia said in a press release on Monday.

Last month, a collaboration among four companies from Israel, Russia and the US produced the first ever "space beef steak" inside the International Space Station.

The experiment, he said, "marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources". Just without beef's huge environmental impact, its heavy resource requirements, or its contribution to climate change.

Aleph Farms, which has raised about $13 million, has investors including Israel's Strauss Group, Cargill Inc., New Crop Capital, and Vis Vires New Protein.

Aleph Farms' aim is to produce non-genetically modified food, which means using natural processes to grow meat to mimic the way it would develop in a cow.

It does, however, insist its cell-cultured meal is slaughter- and antibiotic-free, and does not need the land, water, feed, or other factors required to raise cattle for meat.

Advocates say lab-grown meat is flavorful and better for the environment than conventional meat. Final December, it efficiently produced a "strip steak" in a lab in simply two weeks. Aleph Farms collaborated with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions and two US -based food companies to test this method in space.

LAB-GROWN meat has been created in space in an experiment that's truly out of this world.

As global consumption of meat is projected to rise by 88 percent between 2010 and 2050 by the World Resources Institute, science is seeking less resource-intensive ways of producing it, with in vitro cultivation of animal cells offering a possible solution.

The meat-alternative has been touted as a miracle cure for the impending food crisis and climate change.

"The mission of providing access to high-quality nutrition anytime, anywhere in a sustainable way is an increasing challenge for all humans", added Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen, a food-tech incubator.

This achievement, said Toubia, "follows Yuri Gagarin's success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong's 50 anniversary this year, celebrating the moment when the first man walked [in] space".



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