Aleph Farms, a Rehovot-based Israeli startup, says it is the first company to have developed steak in a laboratory. Other eco-friendly meats such as fake chicken and beef burgers have recently become popular, but alternative steaks have remained unattainable, until now.
Due to the unique characteristics of steak, it has been considered impossible to create a successful plant-based alternative. The prospects of lab-grown meat have, therefore, become the focus for those who hope to achieve the holy grail of alternative meat.
Currently in the trial phase until 2021, Aleph Farms plans to have the product available in a limited number of restaurant menus. They are aiming for an official launch of the steak in 2023, primarily at restaurants, followed by sales at grocery stores.
As of now, one thin serving of the steak costs around $50, but the company is hopeful that the price will become cheaper, costing slightly above the price of beef steak offered at restaurants.
Ultimately, the intention is to strive for mass production of the plant-based alternative, which will reduce the price even further, allowing for cheaper steak houses to serve the fake meat as well.
The alternative steak boasts various advantages in comparison with traditional steak. The time necessary for the production of such meat would take only three weeks, compared to two years with traditional beef growing. Additionally, the lab-grown meat avoids the harmful antibiotics, has a lower environmental footprint, and ultimately will reduce animal slaughter and suffering.
The startup was set up in cooperation with the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology, and food producer Strauss Group’s incubator ‘The Kitchen’. So far, $14 million were invested in the company.
Co-founder and CEO, Didier Toubia, said that the company aspires to become one of the top three meat producers in the world, together with Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods.