Back in 2019, the food company Aleph Farms took “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.” How was this accomplished? By producing lab-grown meat in space, approximately 339 kilometers (248 miles) away from Earth.
The Israeli food company cultivated beef steaks while aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which is approximately 248 miles away from any natural resource on our planet. The process entailed relying on a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration which occurs inside the cow’s body — but under controlled conditions.
The experiment took place on September 26 aboard the Russian segment of the ISS. For the integral research, Aleph Farms partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, Meal Source Technologies, and Finless Foods. Based on the success of the trial, the international collaboration is fulfilling its promise to develop safe and nutritious meat anytime, anywhere.
The news is groundbreaking for several reasons but primarily, because the method aims to feed the rapidly growing population. By 2050, the human population is expected to reach 10 billion.
In a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations, the importance of developing new methods to sustainably harvest animals were emphasized. Current agricultural practices create “a challenging situation worse and undermining food security.” The 107 authors who contributed to the report have shed light on climate change effects on land, desertification, land degradation, and the diminishing availability of food supplies.
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“In space, we don’t have 10,000 or 15,000 liters (4,000 gallons) of water available to produce one kilogram (2.205 pound) of beef,” explained Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. “This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources.”
Jonathan Berger, who is CEO of the mission’s partnering organization The Kitchen, added: “The mission of providing access to high-quality nutrition anytime, anywhere in a sustainable way is an increasing challenge for all humans. On Earth or up above, we count on innovators like Aleph Farms to take the initiative to provide solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as the climate crisis.”
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