Cultivated food

From Alpaca to Crocodile, This Startup is Serving Up the Next Big Thing in Lab-grown Meat

As many consumers trend toward cutting meat consumption due to moral or sustainability reasons, plant-based protein sources have emerged as a clear leader in meat’s successor. But some companies believe that consumers might be able to address these same issues by replacing meat with… other meat.

Lab cultivated meat creators use bioengineering practices to grow meat in a cleanroom environment using cells harvested from living animals. And while the technology is still in the development stage, one company believes it’s already found a way to add new and better forms of meat to the mix.

The startup Vow Food believes that there is an opportunity to explore new and unconventional forms of meat that aren’t currently being consumed consistently. According to George Peppou, Vow’s founder and CEO, these new types of meat “are going to become as abundant, well-recognized, and well-understood as a Cheerio is, 80 years in the future.”


So what does this look like? Vow currently has a quail-type product it has cultivated in a lab and dubbed Morsel that is being reviewed by regulators. The company hopes to add more adventurous types because Peppou believes that consumers will adapt to the lab meat concept only if they’re getting something they don’t already have; creating a notion, he says, “that cultured meat can be something that animal meat isn’t.”

On the table are products that mix and match animal biologies — something unattainable in the traditional meat industry — and Vow are now experimenting with more than 20 species which include alpaca and crocodile. 

Vow hopes consumers will be on board if they take a more novel approach, as billions of animals are slaughtered each year for consumption and the global livestock industry is responsible for nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.


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