On Today’s Menu: A 3D-Printed Rib-Eye with Fries


In striving for a more eco-friendly future, slaughter-free meat sounds like a miracle. It also sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie from our childhood. So how do we convince you that a cultivated, 3D-printed printed steak can replicate a well-sourced, ethically-raised piece of meat?

Science, of course.

The thought of lab-grown food is still an unusual one. Although most of us – even the carnivores – can probably agree that sustainable methods of meat production have their place as we strive to cool down our overheating planet, a lab-grown burger doesn’t sound all that appealing.

Not to mention that the science behind 3D printed food is extensive, complex and ever-evolving, making the thought of man-made edibles totally surreal to the average punter (us).

So let’s break it down.

3D printing uses computer technology to create three-dimensional solid objects. It combines the additive process or layering the material in thin horizontal cross-sections and the computer program, to print solid objects. You can create almost anything from 3D printing, including hotels, toys, machine parts, furniture and now, food.

It’s been around for almost 40 years, first being recorded by Japanese inventor Hideo Kodama in 1981.

Fast forward to today, 3D printing is making its mark in the tech world as a solution to unsustainable agriculture with the evolution of 3D-printed food and conceptual restaurants. 

Aleph Farms, an Israeli food company and bio-farm, has been working with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a laboratory for biotechnological research, throughout the last year. The result: a historical achievement of 3D-printed meat. 

Basically, it’s food science meets biotechnology. 

The company, which was co-founded with the food-tech incubator, The Kitchen Hub, and Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion Institute of Technology, Israel, grows real beef steaks from the cells of living cows, “eliminating the need for slaughtering animals or harming the environment”. 

Pretty incredible, right?

Bioprinting is a technique that allows the creation of various cellular structures from a bioink composed of stem cells. Using this tech in their collaboration with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, is what makes Aleph Farms different in its use of 3D printing technology, is that they can theoretically replicate the taste, texture and structure of different steaks by their cut, from tougher strips and sirloins, to melt-in-your-mouth fillets.

Although making waves in the tech and food industry, the question still remains; when, and if, lab-made meat will be able to reach the real thing, in taste, availability and price. 

And most importantly, would you eat it? 

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