A British company called Primeval Foods is pitching lab-grown meat, such as lion burgers, tiger steaks, and zebra sushi rolls to climate-conscious consumers.
The company says it wants consumers of plant-based meat alternatives to switch to lab-grown meats in a bid to preserve the planet.
Lab-grown meat is produced by cultivating animal cells directly to produce food from any species without slaughtering animals. It also allows producers to replicate the sensory and nutritional profiles of conventional meat.
Although most companies focus on the most common meat categories in demand, such as chicken, beef and pork, Primeval Foods may be the first of its kind to entice consumers with exotic “cultured” meat products.
Michelin-starred restaurants to sample lion burger and tiger steak
Created by the London-based venture studio Ace Ventures, the company plans to have Michelin-starred restaurants in London sample its dishes, once the products pass regulatory approvals. It also plans to expand on a larger scale to local supermarkets, as well.
Speaking to FoodNavigator about where they sourced their meat cells from, Yilmaz Bora, managing partner of Ace Ventures, said, “We are currently working on: the Siberian tiger, leopard, black panther, Bengal tiger, white lion, lion, and zebra. We sourced cells of the big cats from captive animals, and for the zebra, we sourced it from an exotic meat market.”
He also said that the purpose of the initiative was to make food that “carnivores will crave.”
“To make a notable and long-lasting impact for animals, we need to make foods that carnivores will crave, not vegans and this must be the whole purpose of launching an alternative protein startup,” Bora told Vegconomist, adding that “We see this as the third revolution since the discovery of the fire and The Neolithic Revolution.”
Is Lab-Grown Meat Healthy?
Many environmentally conscious people consider that lab-grown meat can be an ethical alternative to conventional meat. It may solve multiple problems at once, such as the food demands of the increasing population, helping the environment, and consuming cruelty-free meat.
As it is cultured in labs, its fat content can also be modified, making it more nutritional.
Akanksha Singh, BDS, writing in the news-medical portal, says that cultured meat is still a new product, and its public health consequences are unknown.
“There is a possibility of cell lines dysregulation considering the exponential growth and multiplication of the cells. As it is not possible to control the culture process entirely some unwanted progression may take place” with “one potential health concern that stands out [being] the cancer-promoting properties of cells that proliferate exponentially in vitro,” says Singh.
Singh goes on to say that “consuming lab-grown meat with such faulty cell lines may have unwarranted effects on the human body [and] the exact effects remain unknown.”
The American scientist concludes, however, that lab-grown meat has been hailed as the “Future Food” and for good reason, saying that “it is clean, green, and can be produced with fewer resources to feed the masses. It is free from zoonotic diseases and antibiotics. Theoretically, its nutrient profile can be controlled making it a healthy choice as well.”