The Israeli Pioneers Working to Bring Test Tube Meat to Your Plate

Got steak? Read More

By / January 5, 2015

Test tube chicken breast: it’s the way of the future, according to Koby Barak. The Israeli animal rights activist is the Executive Director of The Modern Agriculture Foundation, a non-profit organization “working to promote research in the field of cultured meat.” The Times of Israel reports that MAF has teamed up with scientists at Tel Aviv University to evaluate the possibility of producing chicken breast in a lab, which would be better for animals (obviously), the environment, and also consumers. (All commercially farmed chickens are given hormones and antibiotics to speed up the growth process.)

So, how does it work?

Cultured meat is produced by taking stem cells and placing them in a growth culture (an example would be fetal bovine serum, which is extracted from cow uteruses and is rich with energy substrates, amino acids and inorganic salts to support cell metabolism and growth). The cells would divide and grow, creating solid pieces of meat. The science to develop cultured meat – based on tissue engineering – has been around for several years, and research on developing ways to produce it commercially is being conducted around the world.

If the scientists at TAU can develop an efficient, cost-effective way to produce in vitro meat, it will eventually be grown in vats, and look and taste “as natural as anything that comes out of a meat production facility today.”

Sounds like a recipe for a delicious, ethical Shabbat dinner. We’ll take it—and taste it.

Read the full story here.

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