This Might Be the Brave New World of Steaks

Israel's Aleph Farms uses 3D printing to create a lab-grown ribeye
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2021 2:08 PM CST
Behold, the World's First 'Slaughter-Free Ribeye'
The new ribeye.   (Aleph Farms)

You can order a steak rare, well done, and now, 3D printed. An Israeli company has produced what it calls the "world's first slaughter-free ribeye steak," reports Bloomberg. The product from Aleph Farms is the latest entry in the emerging field of alternatives to traditionally raised meat. But as the Washington Post explains, this isn't a plant-based substitute—it's beef, albeit lab-grown beef that also makes use of 3D bioprinting technology. In a release, the company says it prints living animal cells "that are then incubated to grow, differentiate, and interact, in order to acquire the texture and qualities of a real steak." The end result for consumers is a steak that doesn't require a cow be butchered. And the taste? Aleph swears it's "delicious, tender," and "juicy," though it will be a while before consumers can taste for themselves because the meat still must receive regulatory approval in the US and elsewhere.

"We've been interacting with the USDA and FDA for the past two and a half years, and we believe the US may be one of the first countries to clear cellular meat," Aleph chief executive Didier Toubia tells the Post. While some may balk at digging into lab-grown meat, Toubia says the idea isn't to replace the traditional stuff "but to build a second category of meat." Technicians have a high degree of control over such as issues as collagen and fat and can tailor the steaks for different tastes, he says. Aleph may be the first to develop a thick-cut steak with this process, but a post at the Food Institute makes clear it won't be the last. It notes that more than 100 companies across the world are now working on "cultivated" meat, seafood, and dairy products. (The agriculture industry's impact on the climate is one reason alternatives are springing up.)

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