The idea of cultured meat is a fascinating one, taking cells from animals and growing them in a lab, instead of slaughtering the animal itself. Giving people meat options without the traditional resources or carbon footprint of meat is intriguing, indeed.
Over the last few years, there have been developments in cultured meat and seafood, as well in reductions in cost, which will still have to drop dramatically to be affordable alternatives to traditional meat products.
Vow is a food company based in Australia, and they’ve decided to push the envelope, in order to bring more attention to the process, and to make eating habits more planet-friendly.
They recently unveiled a giant meatball, comprised of DNA from a Woolly Mammoth to approximate mammoth meat. It’s an attention-grabbing headline indeed, one that certainly raises eyebrows. 🦣
In doing so, Vow has shown what’s possible with culturing DNA and animal tissue, all with an animal that has been extinct for thousands of years.
“Vow, an Australian cultured meat startup, has made what it describes as a mammoth meatball. The project’s goal, according to the company, is to draw attention to the potential of cultured meat to make eating habits more planet friendly.”
“We have a behaviour change problem when it comes to meat consumption,” said George Peppou, CEO of Vow.
“The goal is to transition a few billion meat eaters away from eating [conventional] animal protein to eating things that can be produced in electrified systems.
“And we believe the best way to do that is to invent meat. We look for cells that are easy to grow, really tasty and nutritious, and then mix and match those cells to create really tasty meat.”
Tim Noakesmith, who cofounded Vow with Peppou, said: “We chose the woolly mammoth because it’s a symbol of diversity loss and a symbol of climate change.” The creature is thought to have been driven to extinction by hunting by humans and the warming of the world after the last ice age.
The Mammoth Meatball might be an attention-grabber, but the promise of cultured meat is coming soon, pending approval from governments, who are still deliberating how to qualify this new kind of food.
Currently, only Israel and Singapore allow the sale of cultured meat, though the US FDA recently granted preliminary approval.