Aleph Farms Is the First Cultivated Meat Company to Earn Positive Kosher Ruling
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Israel’s Chief Rabbi, David Baruch Lau, issues ruling that says cultivated steak from Israel-based Aleph Farms is kosher.
Cultivated meat startup Aleph Farms has achieved an industry first. Jewish people who observe kosher rules — only eating food blessed by a rabbi — can consume steak produced from cultivated animal cells, said David Baruch Lau, the chief rabbi of Israel in a ruling.
While the ruling is not a kosher certificate- Aleph Farms will need to work with local rabbinic authorities on the issuance of an actual certificate, and it’s not the first time a rabbi recommended that Aleph Farm’s products be certified as kosher, it’s the first time a Chief Rabbi, as leader of the Chief Rabbinate, issues such a decision.
Kosher cultivated steak
While the steak is not yet approved for sale or consumption, regulatory approval is expected later this year. The rabbi’s kosher ruling opens the door to a large percentage of the country’s population once the meat achieves approval.
“This ruling is meaningful not only for Aleph Farms as a company but also for the entire cultivated meat industry. It sets a foundation for an inclusive public discourse about the intersection of tradition and innovation in our society. At Aleph, we innovate in order to provide quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere in service of people and the planet, and that includes people with different culinary traditions,” Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said in a statement.
“We’re excited that more groups of diners can enjoy our products regardless of their religion, helping us to advance our inclusive vision for food security and tap into different food cultures around the world,” Toubia said.
Kosher beef demand
Demand for kosher meat is on the rise globally, according to Aleph. It’s expected to reach more than $100 billion globally by 2030, with demand increasing in the U.S., France, and Israel, which combined make up more than 86 percent of the global Jewish population. Nearly 74 percent of Israel’s population is Jewish.
Aleph Farms says it’s working closely with regulatory agencies around the world in preparation for commercial launch. Its first product to market will be a cultivated thin-cut beef steak. It’s also developing different steak cuts as well as collagen made from cultivated cells.
Lucy, a Black Angus cow who lives on a breeding farm in California, produced the fertilized egg that has served as the base for all of Aleph Farms’ products. The company says it can grow “thousands of tons” of cultivated meat from that single cell source for a more sustainable and ethical protein source.
Aleph Farms says it is also in contact with Muslim, Hindu, and other religious authorities in order to certify its products as a viable dietary option for groups that have different religious practices.
Editor’s Note: to be as accurate and specific as possible, we have updated the article title to say that Aleph Farms has achieved a positive ruling regarding its kosher status, rather than kosher certification.