An Israeli company unveiled the world’s largest lab-grown steak yesterday.

MeaTeach showed off a 3.67 ounce (105g) steak made from real fat and muscle cells that had been taken from cows and then cultured in a lab. The cells were then assembled using a special 3D-printer.

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World’s largest lab-grown steak

“MeaTech’s goal is developing a true replacement for conventional steak that maximizes cell-based content rather than non-meat ingredients,” the company said in a press release about the new lab-grown steak.

“MeaTech intends to continue improving upon its bioprinting and cultivation technologies to produce cultivated meat that better mirrors the key characteristics of farm-raised, premium steak.”

The process of making a MeaTech steak begins with isolating cow stem cells. The cells are culture and allowed to multiply, producing “bio-inks” which are then loaded into a special 3D printer.

The steam cells are then allowed to mature and differentiate into muscle and fat cells, which in turn produce muscle and fat tissue.

‘Each step of the cultivated steak process was developed and optimized in-house, from unique and functional bio-ink formulation to proprietary cell differentiation protocols of the stem cells to patented printing techniques,’ MeaTech stated in the release.

The comapany believe the lab-grown steak ‘looks, tastes, smells and feels just like the farmed variety.’

Lab-grown meat is becoming an area of growing interest for scientists and food producers.

In August, scientists revealed the world’s first 3D-printed Wagyu beef, which is said to have marbling ‘just like the real thing’ and is made, like MeaTech’s product, from stem cells grown in the lab.

These new developments represent something of a breakthrough, since most ‘cultured’ meat produced so far has come out in mince form rather than like steak.

At present it’s unclear how much it costs to make these lab-grown steaks or when they are likely to arrive on the market.

How willing people will be to eat them is another question; although it could be that they’re more willing to eat them than plant-based meat alternatives.

In recent months, plant-based companies like Beyond have been posting terrible performances that have seen their stocks nosedive.

plant-based meat

At the same time, they’ve faced strong resistance from consumers and legislators in places like Australia, where a survey showed that a majority of men would rather lose ten years off their lives than give up meat, and Texas, where packaging rules have been established to prevent plant-based alternatives from being marketed deceptively.

Resistance has also been a notable feature of scientific studies, including one which showed that the taste and health claims are poor ways to get people to swap meat from plant-based alternatives. Only social pressure, the researchers found, could effectively force consumers to make the switch.

Manufacturers are quickly becoming wise to this fact and exploiting guilt and most of all shame to sell their products. Oatly, the Swedish oat-milk manufacturer, is perhaps the best example of this tactic, as the advert above demonstrates only too well.

As the debate about climate change and the environment takes on an increasingly alarmist tone, commentators with links to government are already suggesting meat taxes and that governments will have to find ways to “force people to eat less red meat.”

The UK government’s National Food Strategy, a government investigation into the future of food in the UK, recently reported that algae and plant-based meat would have to make up a significant proportion of people’s diets in the UK if the government is to meet its carbon targets.

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