At CULT Food Science, a food technology entrepreneur is leading the way in the fascinating fields of cellular agriculture and slaughter-free meals.
The subject of cellular agriculture is controversial and frequently misunderstood. Simply described, it describes the method of making meals with animal origins from cell culture as opposed to raising and killing animals for sustenance. A vigorous debate is developing around the huge environmental benefit being unlocked through lower greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and land utilization, relative to traditional farming, that this field of study is working to address in addition to the ethical issues.
These items, which are sometimes referred to as cultured meat or cultured dairy, differ significantly from plant-based substitutes since they really include animal cells and are, in theory, indistinguishable from real meat products.
In recent years, private businesses that are exploring cellular agriculture as a remedy for the world farming issue have received billions of dollars in investment. CULT Food Science, run by Lejjy and his staff, is one of the few publicly listed cellular agricultural businesses in North America and the only one in Canada.
The first ever cultured meat product in the United States was formally authorized by the US FDA on Wednesday, November 16th, shocking the scientific world and attracting a flood of media attention. Lejjy Gafour was contacted so we could obtain his opinion on what this implies for the industry and CULT’s place in it.
What precisely are cell-based meals and cultured meat, and why are they significant for those who aren’t yet familiar with them?
It all comes down to being able to use the power of the cell to make materials and food in ways that have never been conceivable before. We can produce meat, milk, leather, coffee, and other products that aren’t viable with conventional farming thanks to cell-based foods.
The same items we use every day may now be produced with far less land, water, and environmental effect thanks to the utilization of bioreactors in a closed environment, much like when making beer.
The difficulties we encounter due to a changing climate are significantly impacted by agriculture. However, one sector that will be most affected by climate change itself is agriculture. One of the few options we have for securing the food we consume today is through cell-based meals.
What would you say to someone who believes “lab-grown food” is harmful, artificial, or lacks the same flavor as conventional proteins?
It is created in a whole new method, but no matter how you cut it or examine it, it is the exact same product as what you would find in a grocery store today. The level of control needed to generate these items is substantially higher than that needed to make conventional meals.
Less pesticides and other chemicals are used throughout the food production chain of these goods as a consequence. Additionally, it makes it possible for stricter restrictions to be used when introducing the product to the grocery aisle. Traditional farming procedures do not allow for uniform manufacturing and testing between batches of output.
With CULT Food Science, what are you constructing, and what significant issues are you attempting to resolve?
The goal of CULT Food Science is to make cell-based meals a staple of daily life. The world is losing the ability to produce food in the manner we have for hundreds of years, which presents an inescapable challenge that must be remedied. These are the issues that we are actively working to address.
We are North America’s first platform of our type. We are both developing world-first goods using cellular agriculture and precise fermentation, as well as the businesses that will support them, through our venture building and product development.
We have collaborated with and invested in some of the industry’s top businesses. The biggest impact cell-based products that we anticipate entering the market are those that we identify, create, and introduce with those partners and our own team at CULT Food Science.
New items that have never been made before are what we are making. It is now feasible to create novel flavor sensations, nutritional improvements, and better protein kinds.
Food security is a problem that will become more and more crucial to solve as we move into an uncertain future. Cell-based meals offer a way to continue producing food when conventional techniques could be challenging or impossible. Long-term goals of CULT include integrating these kinds of capabilities into customary methods of food production.
How will the FDA’s new approval of cell-based meals alter their momentum and trajectory, and when do you think they will start to permeate our daily lives?
This endorsement clears the door for many more. It was a crucial step toward the production of cell-based meat and other items that use these techniques. It formally demonstrates to the general public and to those who still had questions the dependability of these methods and technology.
As businesses compete to be the first to market, the public availability of products that will be sold in restaurants and grocery stores during the following few years is expected to accelerate.
I’m hoping that this will provide more individuals the chance to test cellular agriculture goods for the first time.
The majority of the businesses competing in this field are quite well funded and have extensive Silicon Valley ties among their supporters. How do you think CULT Food Science will fare in that environment?
We have a solid foundation of businesses and researchers that have contributed to the development of the cellular agriculture sector. We hired individuals with expertise from top institutions and founders of businesses that were pioneers in their industries.
We have a very structured approach to design and development because we understand that, in the end, it’s all about putting the consumer first and giving them a meaningful experience. Due to our capabilities, we can concurrently push for a finished product as soon as feasible so that we may iterate swiftly while working on scaling simultaneously.
The most intriguing aspect of eating is how crucial context is. Making a product and assuming that people would buy it just because it exists is not a viable strategy. When it comes to the production of food, each area has its own values and traditions. With every one of our endeavors and offerings, we take it into consideration. We have taken into account this context from day one. Groups with a less global perspective don’t always take into account how a technology might affect a culture or the success of a product.
What about this possibility appeals to you, and what do you think its real potential is?
Cellular agriculture and other cell-based technologies enable us to detach from the labor-intensive techniques of traditional agriculture in a variety of ways, including new eating experiences, food security, pricing, and accessibility.
It enables us to decentralizedly generate our food close to where we live. We won’t have to transport items hundreds of miles simply for them to spoil on grocery store shelves and be thrown out. We will have the ability to choose how and when to create food. With a greatly decreased environmental effect, all of this is possible.
Staples like coffee and chocolate, for instance, will become more difficult to get or more expensive as the consequences of climate change worsen. These technologies will enable us to consistently produce the items we use every day and to offer new, previously unattainable experiences.