Now you can get your meat grown in a lab and you don’t need to slaughter an animal. It seems the stuff of science fiction but that is just what a team of Russian and Israeli scientists has succeeded in doing. Abroad the International Space Station (ISS) 248 miles out in space, they have cultivated a small piece of beef from stem cells.
These cells were flown to the space station after they were harvested here on earth. The scientists there succeeded in turning them into muscle tissues using an extraordinary 3D printer. The experiments were conducted on the 26th of September, 2019 in the Russian part of the ISS, by Aleph Farms, a firm that cultivates beef steaks from cells. The whole project was an attempt to demonstrate that meat can definitely be grown in the toughest of conditions and with minimal resources.
This technique was developed in collaboration with Russian 3D Bioprinting Solutions and should pave the way to serve space burgers to astronauts in the future. And it will be made from freshly farmed meat. The success of the experiment confirms Aleph Farms’ assertion that cultivated meat grown in a lab can definitely be developed in any place and in extreme conditions as per the head, Didier Toubia.
This is a groundbreaking achievement as it demonstrates that they are closer to producing food even close to the consumers and at the time they need it. The meat was grown from cells of a cow by successfully imitating the natural way through which muscle regenerates inside the body of a cow.
This is where the 3D Bioprinter came in handy as it brings together the live cells that create a substance resembling a real tissue.
This slaughter-free or lab-grown meat tastes and resembles the genuine thing but thankfully it has been grown without having to resort to killing the animals. Scientists labeled it ‘Frankenstein’s meat’ as it has been grown from other animals’ cells.
The meat has been promoted as a food that can mitigate the impending food scarcity due to climate change. 96% of greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated by turning to fake meat, thus tackling climate change.
That the scientists were able to grow the artificial meat within the harsh confines of the ISS clearly demonstrates that it can be made with scant resources of land and water. It takes anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of conventional beef, something unthinkable in space.
This joint experiment is a giant step towards achieving the goal of total food security for the future generations while at the same time preserving the planet’s natural resources.
In related news, scientists had revealed that this meat could hit the shelves of the supermarket within 5 years.
Even as you read this, it has been claimed that people will, in the near future, resort to eating bugs to survive the food crisis. Unless meat grown in a lab makes it to the shelves in a big way, insects could even contribute to the food basket and you can end up buying bug crisps from supermarket chain Sainsbury’s!
Let us know if you have worked up an appetite after reading this.
Image Credits: 3D Bioprinting Solutions
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