Cell-Based Meat Maker Aleph Farms Launches Space Program To Grow Steaks On Mars

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Israeli food tech Aleph Farms has recently announced the launch of its new program to produce its cultivated meat in outer space. Called “Aleph Zero”, the project will see the company collaborate with space agencies to bring local production of cultivated meat in remote extraterrestrial environments, from the Moon to Mars.

Aleph Farms, the Rehovot-based company that grows slaughter-free steaks directly from non-GMO cells that have been isolated from animals, has revealed its brand new mission: to bring cultivated meat production to space. If the project succeeds, it will represent a major step forward in solving the challenge of food and resource scarcity on long-duration manned space explorations.

To achieve its bold new goal, Aleph Farms says it is now securing strategic partnerships with tech companies and space agencies for long-term research and development contracts. It is hoped that future space programs will leverage Aleph Farm’s expertise in cell biology, tissue engineering, and food science to establish its production facility dubbed “BioFarm” in extraterrestrial environments. 

Read: 10 reasons why cultivated meat is the future of protein

Co-founded by Didier Toubia and Shulamit Levenberg along with the Israel food giant Strauss Group in 2017, Aleph Farms has since its inception raised a US$12 million Series A round and is currently in the process of transitioning its products to pilot production as soon as next year. The Cargill-backed company says it is planning to launch its products commercially by the end of 2022.

Commenting on its latest development, co-founder and CEO Toubia said: “Aleph Zero represents the mathematical symbol of the smallest infinite number, and how Aleph Farms brings space infinity closer by supporting deep-space exploration and colonization of new planets. The term also represents the company’s vision for producing meat with near-zero natural resources.” 

The news comes shortly after Aleph Farms successfully completed its experiment of producing cultivated meat on the International Space Station (ISS) one year ago, in collaboration with 3D Bioprinting Solutions – a Russian company that is now working with fast food chain KFC to develop the world’s first lab-grown bio-printed chicken nugget.

The program Aleph Zero reflects our mission of producing quality, delicious meat locally where people live and consume it, even in the most remote places on Earth like the Sahara Desert or Antarctica. Providing unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. When people will live on the Moon or Mars, Aleph Farms will be there as well.

Didier Toubia, Co-Founder & CEO of Aleph Farms

Aleph Farms says that the achievement of its ISS project marked a “historic milestone” for sustainable food production, opening up new opportunities to grow real meat from different bovine cells even in different environmental conditions, such as under microgravity and a long way away from Earth’s natural resources. 

“The constraints imposed by deep-space-exploration — the cold, thin environment and the circular approach — force[s] us to tighten the efficiency of our meat production process to much higher sustainability standards,” Toubia explains. 

“The program Aleph Zero reflects our mission of producing quality, delicious meat locally where people live and consume it, even in the most remote places on Earth like the Sahara Desert or Antarctica. Providing unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. When people will live on the Moon or Mars, Aleph Farms will be there as well.”


All images courtesy of Aleph Farms.


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