Steaks in space: Foodtech eyes cultured meat for astronauts

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In Israel, cultured meat startup Aleph Farms has formed the Aleph Zero cultured meat project to one day enable astronauts to enjoy steak on a Mars mission, without the hassle of sending an actual cow into space.

A key challenge of long-distance space exploration is the need to cultivate food in difficult environments. Sending bovine cells that could be cultured and grown would help address this issue.

“‘Aleph Zero’ represents the mathematical symbol of the smallest infinite number, and how Aleph Farms brings space infinity closer by supporting deep-space exploration and colonization of new planets,” says Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia. “The term also represents the company’s vision for producing meat with near-zero natural resources.”

Aleph Farms has already successfully produced meat on the International Space Station in collaboration with 3D Bioprinting Solutions.

“The constraints imposed by deep-space-exploration—the cold, thin environment and the circular approach—force us to tighten the efficiency of our meat production process to much higher sustainability standards,” adds Toubia. “The program ‘Aleph Zero’ reflects our mission of producing quality, delicious meat locally where people live and consume it, even in the most remote places on Earth like the Sahara Desert or Antarctica. Providing unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. When people will live on the Moon or Mars, Aleph Farms will be there as well.”

Toubia co-founded Aleph Farms with The Kitchen Foodtech Hub of Strauss Group and Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.