Home Feature Mammoth meatballs cultivated by an Australian cultured meat company

Mammoth meatballs cultivated by an Australian cultured meat company

by Sofia Navarro
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You don’t need to kill any kind of animal to grow this meat in labs, explained Tim Noakesmith, founder of Australian startup Vow.

A mammoth meatball has been created by a cultivated meat company, resurrecting the flesh of the long-extinct animals.

The project aims to demonstrate the potential of meat grown from cells, without the slaughter of animals, and to highlight the link between large-scale livestock production and the destruction of wildlife and the climate crisis.

The mammoth meatball was produced by Vow, an Australian company, which is taking a different approach to cultured meat.

There are scores of companies working on replacements for conventional meat, such as chickenpork and beef. But Vow is aiming to mix and match cells from unconventional species to create new kinds of meat.

Want to try some grilled mammoth meat?

An Australian company has unveiled a meatball made from lab-grown meat using the genetic sequence of the extinct pachyderm, saying it was made to fuel public debate.

Cultured meat is made from animal cells. It is not necessary to kill cattle for its production, so activists say it is better, not only for the animal, but also for the environment.

How is mammoth meat created?

Vow used publicly available genetic information from the mammoth; he filled in the missing parts with genetic data from its closest living relative (the African elephant), and inserted all of this into a sheep cell, Noakesmith explained.

Under the right conditions in a laboratory, the cells multiplied until they reached enough numbers to make the meatball.

Today, more than 100 companies around the world are working on cultured meat products, many of them startups like Vow.

Experts point out that if this technology is adopted on a large scale, it could greatly reduce the environmental impact of meat production in the future. Millions of hectares are currently used for agriculture and livestock throughout the world.

The bad: many do ‘ugly’ to cultivated meat

But don’t expect this meat to be on your plate any time soon. So far, Singapore is the only country in the world that has approved meat grown for human consumption. Vow hopes that in the coming months it will be able to sell its first product in that nation: cultured Japanese quail meat.

The Mammoth Meatball is a one-time thing and has not been tested, even by its creators, and is not scheduled to go into commercial production. Instead, it was pitched as a protein source that will spark the debate about the future of meat.

“We wanted to get people excited about the possibility that the future of food is different than it used to be. That there are things that are unique and better than the meats that we are consuming right now out of necessity, and we thought that the mammoth would be a good place to start this conversation and get people excited about this new future,” Noakesmith told The Associated Press. .

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