Aleph Farms completes first slaughter-free meat experiment in space

Aleph Farm’s slaughter-free steaks (Photo: Afik Gabay)

50 years after Apollo 11, through joint experiment on the International Space Station (ISS), Aleph Farms has brought forward its mission to provide sustainable food security on earth and beyond, by producing meat regardless to availability of land and local water resources 

Aleph Farms, a food company that grows cultivated beef steaks, has announced it has successfully taken “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” in producing meat on the International Space Station (ISS), 248 miles (339 km) away from any natural resources. Through an international collaboration set to reach new heights with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, which develops implementations of 3D bioprinting technologies, Meal Source Technologies and Finless Foods — Aleph Farms, co-founded with the food-tech incubator The Kitchen, and Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion University, has made a progress toward fulfilling its promise: To enable on Earth unconditional access to safe and nutritious meat anytime, anywhere, while using minimal resources.

Aleph Farms’ production method of cultivated beef steaks relies on mimicking a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow’s body, but under controlled conditions. Within the framework of this experiment on the 26th of September on the Russian segment of the ISS, a successful proof of concept has been established in assembling a small-scale muscle tissue in a 3D bioprinter developed by 3D Bioprinting Solutions, under micro-gravity conditions. This research in some of the most extreme environments imaginable, serves as an essential growth indicator of sustainable food production methods that don’t exacerbate land waste, water waste, and pollution. These methods aimed at feeding the rapidly growing population, predicted to reach 10 billion individuals by 2050.

A report published last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasised the integral contribution of the conventional animal farming methods on climate change, creating “a challenging situation worse and undermining food security.” The 107 authors who contributed to the report have shed light on climate change effects on land, especially desertification, land degradation, and diminishing availability of food supplies.

Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said, “This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources. This keystone of human achievement in space follows Yuri Gagarin’s success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong’s 50th anniversary this year, celebrating the moment when the first man walked on space.”

Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen, added, “The mission of providing access to high-quality nutrition anytime, anywhere in a sustainable way is an increasing challenge for all humans. On Earth or up above, we count on innovators like Aleph Farms to take the initiative to provide solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as the climate crisis.”