Jungle on your plate: Lab-grown lion and zebra meat heads to taste tests

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Cultivated meat startup Primeval Foods is planning tasting events in New York and London for its lab-grown lion, tiger and zebra meat. 

Based in the United Kingdom, the company focuses on growing exotic meats people would otherwise not get to consume. “We are currently working in the Siberian tiger, leopard, black panther, Bengal tiger, white lion, lion and zebra,” Yilmaz Bora, managing partner of Ace Ventures, which created Primeval Foods, tells Food Navigator. 

The company’s press kit includes a mock tasting menu starting with a cheese board and cultivated giraffe hams and lion meat ravioli as a main course, with tiger nuggets on the kids’ menu. 

Bora adds that humans don’t consume species like chicken and beef because they were the tastiest or healthiest, but rather because they were the easiest to domesticate. “Since cultivated meat allowed us to go beyond domesticated species, now we can explore the tastiest, healthiest and most nutritious [options].” 

Bora believes introduction of new meats via cultivated methods could alter evolution. “We are envisioning a future where we consume cultivated jaguar meat to have better sleep and mood, or cultivated elephant meat to increase cognitive performance,” he adds. 

Pending regulatory approval, Michelin-starred restaurants will be the company’s first point of sale, followed by supermarkets.