Lab-grown seafood may be actively solving over-harvesting, but it lacks any noteworthy benefactors. On the flip side, billionaires like Bill Gates and Richard Branson are sponsoring lab-grown meat by Memphis Meats. So what’s the beef?
“Instead of using animals as pieces of technology to convert plants into proteins to make things that we like to eat, drink and wear, we can just use biology to make those things directly,” said… an early investor in Memphis Meats.
Developers envision facilities that are more reminiscent to breweries than slaughterhouses. Admittedly, the former is less unsettling. But how will Memphis Meats grow tasty steaks and chops without the direct use of an animal?
The company’s scientists identify cells that they want to scale up production on — selecting them based on the recommendations of experts. Those cells are cultivated with a blend of sugar, amino acids, fats and water, and within three to six weeks the meat is harvested.
Production is quick but still small-scale. However, with further development, the process could cut greenhouse emissions, save water, and create a more sustainable agriculture industry. From its patrons, Memphis Meats has raised a charming $22 million. I sure hope the filet mignon is worth it.
Artificial is the new authentic, and Mother Nature seems to agree. If lab-grown seafood can taste just as good as the real deal, why can’t synthetic wine? According to Ava Winery, their grape-less recreation is grown molecule by molecule — and it tastes pretty awesome.
“Our goal is to be able to scan and print wines the same way you can scan and print priceless family photos. Ultimately, this technology will also allow us to make better, cleaner, faster wines with less impact on the environment.”
The process incorporates chromatography and spectrometry, which allows users to determine components of different wines. Creating the wines is similar to following a recipe without any environmental risk factors.
“Every year is a great year for these wines because they’re not at risk to changing climate, crop disease, or contamination… These wines significantly reduce agricultural water requirements, as well as the presence of pesticides and heavy metal contaminants in the products.”
The products remain fresh even after being opened and can remain in storage for long periods of time. Ava Winery hopes to have an initial Moscato, Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir in the market in the next year. Cheers to that!
The food industry has furiously been working towards a solution to combatting limited resources. Restaurants are attempting to save reefs by replanting oyster shells. Researchers are finding ways to grow protein by using energy sources. Now, Finless Foods is turning to lab-grown seafood, hoping to solve over-harvesting.
Finless Foods is beginning by replicating the cells of Bluefin Tuna because it is overfished… and can’t be reproduced in captivity.
“We’re growing a small sample of fish meat out from a real fish in a large bioreactor, in massive scale, in clean, sterile breweries that won’t engage in all sorts of harmful practices like run-off, won’t have high levels of antibiotics or hormones,”
31% of fish worldwide are being over-harvested. Additionally, urbanization, agriculture, general fishing, and other actions are causing the rapid decrease in fish populations.
“We are taking fish from the world’s ocean on an unsustainable pace. Globally speaking, it is one of the biggest environmental threats that this world faces.”
Other groups are also processing their own synthetic meats. It may seem a long way before cell-cultured foods hit the market, but some businesses are already aiming to get products out by 2018. If artificial salmon tastes as good as I hear it does, then there’s nothing fishy here.