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Meat grown on the ISS may be the solution to food security crisis

Written by Science, Science & Tech

The Earth is heading for a food security crisis. More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced chronic hunger requiring urgent food and nutrition. Alongside this, modern animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of human-causes greenhouse gas emissions globally. In recent years, cutting down your meat consumption could be the most effective personal action you can take to reducing greenhouse gases. Finding ways of producing good food with limited resources is crucial to our survival.

Aleph Farms believe meat is one of life’s greatest pleasures and it should be enjoyed without the downsides to health and the environment. The Israeli company have been the first to produce lab-grown meat at the International Space Station.

The process involves taking a sample of animal cells from a real cow and replicating them outside of the animal, without the contamination, environmental damage and slaughter that comes with conventional meat production. They extract the cells through a small biopsy, from then the cells are placed in nutrients that simulate the environment inside the cow’s body. From there, they grow into a thin steak.

This is a huge milestone that demonstrates our capability for producing slaughter free meat anywhere. We have been able to produce meat in the harshest conditions with no dependency on land or the availability of water. The discovery suggests that companies could create meat in extreme environments on Earth – particularly in places where water and land is scarce, but the population is high. Normally, it takes upto 5,200 gallons of water to produce a single 2.2-pound steak. But growing cultured meat uses 10 times less water and land than traditional livestock agriculture. Lab-grown meat is also quicker to produce — Aleph Farms calls its product a “minute steak,” because it takes just a couple of minutes to cook.

This revelation has advanced the progression of nutritious cultivated meat. Fifty years ago, no-one would have imagined we would step foot on the moon and now we have taken another giant leap for mankind and produced slaughter free meat in an unforgiving environment with a minimal environmental footprint.

Last modified: 28th October 2019

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