Cellular Agriculture | Enabling Abundance in Food
What is cellular agriculture?
Cellular agriculture is the process of cultivating and harvesting animal cells in a laboratory environment. By replicating naturally occurring biological processes in a controlled setting, companies can create meat, dairy, or any other desired animal product, without harvesting an animal.
Through the biopsy of a healthy animal, or an existing cell culture, the desired stem cells are extracted; placed in a media with the appropriate nutrients, these cells are able to proliferate inside of a bioreactor. From there, the cells are integrated into the necessary structure, or scaffolding, inside of a another bioreactor. This scaffolding determines the texture and consistency of the final product.
Why is cellular agriculture important?
Advances in technology have revolutionized many aspects of daily life, whether it be how we communicate, how we travel, or how we receive healthcare. Cellular agriculture is a disruptive technology that can help bring its industry into the 21st century, addressing serious concerns about the longevity of our conventional methods of food production:
According to the Centers for Disease Control, tens of millions of Americans get sick every year from eating contaminated meat, and thousands die. About 80 percent of antibiotics produced in the U.S. are given to farm animals. This steady stream of antibiotics contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and superbugs that cannot be killed by standard antibiotics.
United Nations scientists state that raising animals for food is “one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”
Growing crops to feed them to farm animals is vastly inefficient, driving up the price of grains and legumes, and entrenching global poverty; to produce enough food for 9 billion people by 2050, we will need a more efficient system.
The current production of animal products subjects tens of billions of thinking, feeling animals to lives of extreme confinement, emotional trauma, painful mutilations, and inhumane slaughter.
How do we implement this technology?
As with any issue this complex, a multifaceted approach is beneficial. Bringing new forms of cellular agriculture to production levels, enabling it to be a practical alternative, will take time. Simultaneously, the fields of plant-based substitutes and vertical farming can help to alleviate the burdens of industrial agriculture. Exposing consumers to these less conventional foods, like a legitimate meatless burger, or fruits and vegetables grown year-round with hydroponics, may help to broaden our collective horizons. The thought of eating a steak that came from a bioreactor . . . may not be so hard to swallow.
Looking for more resources on clean meat and plant-based alternatives? Visit the Good Food Institute: https://www.gfi.org/
At Aquasyn, we’re committed to anticipating the needs of this emerging field, and hope to leverage our 20+ years of process experience in the biotech and bio-pharmaceutical industries to enable abundance in clean, sustainable and ethically sourced food.
If you’re looking for assistance with custom fabrication, flow control, or any other unique process problem, reach out to us with the form below.