The culinary world has printed a variety of edible items, from cakes to pizzas, but now they’re taking on a much larger project. 3D printed meat aims to solve big problems: reducing greenhouse gases, providing a sustainable protein source for all consumers, and promoting a cruelty-free way to satisfy the demand for meat. Let’s take a look at this bleeding edge of the food industry.
Making the switch from normal meat to 3D printed meat comes with a myriad of benefits.
To begin with, the shift away from traditional slaughterhouses will greatly reduce the production of greenhouse gases, which heavily contribute to global warming. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the traditional meat industry (combined with the agriculture industry) produces 9% of greenhouse gases on the planet. Printing meat is a step in the right direction to reducing human effects on global warming.
There is also controversy around traditional slaughterhouses being inhumane. When printing meat, producers can fulfill the demand for their product with no gray area regarding the ethics of meat production.
3D printed meat also satisfies all customers, vegans and carnivores alike. Producers have the option to grow their product in a lab to make a real steak, sans cows, or to create a plant-based concoction to match the texture and flavor of a steak without growing tissue at all. With 3D printed meat, everyone is happy – meat-lovers, environmental rights activists, and animals.
Some start-ups opt to grow their own meat filaments. Others choose to create a vegan filament that mimics the taste and consistency of a real steak. There are options for everyone, and these may soon be the options replacing traditional steaks and other meats in our grocery stores and butcher shops. Let’s take a look at the businesses you may be supporting in the future!
Perhaps the most promising of all the projects, Novameat plans to release their line of meatless printed steaks by 2020. The brainchild of Giuseppe Scionti, an Italian bioengineer who founded the start-up in Spain, Novameat boasts a clean, vegan product that mimics the taste and appearance of a real steak. They use a filament made with ingredients such as peas, seaweed, and rice, which give it the consistency of meat while also including healthy nutrients.
In addition to their vegetarian steak line, they’re also working on lab-grown, 3D printed burger patties, which take up to three weeks to develop. The developed substrate is then loaded onto their printers, which precisely build the patty to make it as realistic as possible.
And it doesn’t stop at steaks and patties: Novameat plans to expand their range of products to include tuna and chicken!
Redefine Meat secretly tested their 3D printed meatless kebobs at an Israeli restaurant, and meat-loving customers couldn’t tell the difference! Utilizing a mixture of plant-based proteins, water, and fat, the company’s CEO Eschchar Ben-Shitrit boasts a product that is almost a perfect replica of the real deal.
Part of their mission to make a realistic substitute that will garner the patronage of people that can’t do without meat, all without compromising the vegan status of their food. Their plan is to begin distribution in Europe by 2020 at under $20 a pound (a price that they estimate will decrease as 3D printed meatless meat becomes the norm).
Proper steak without the animal slaughter sounds incredibly appealing, especially to Modern Meadow. The company originally began as a way to produce cruelty-free, bio-fabricated textiles like leather (which are not commercially available yet).
Because the concept of 3D printed, cruelty-free meat aligns with their values, they attempted to find a way to make such a concept a reality with a $350,000 grant from Peter Thiel. While this project is still in the works, we could see Modern Meadow steaks on the shelves soon enough.
These start-ups offer a more reliable and sustainable solution to the meat market as we know it. The brilliance of printing meat with culinary 3D printers is that everybody wins – animals, consumers, and the planet. It won’t be long now before your favorite barbecue items join the list of printed foods, so get ready to eat the future!
Feature image source: dezeen.com
License: The text of "3D Printed Steak – The Latest Advancements in 2019" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.