Image Source: Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg
One of the most controversial foods, foie gras is banned in several countries and US cities like New York and Chicago. To revive the market, the public investment bank Bpifrance (backed by the French government) has chipped into a $10 million development fund for a kinder, gentler foie gras. Introduced by startup company Gourmey, the product is made from duck stem cells grown in bioreactor tanks. Some tasters say it's a fair match for the real thing. You can taste for yourself in a little over a year when Gourmey's faux gras hits the market.
Image Source: ReGrained/Upcycled Food Association
Earlier this year, the Upcycled Food Association (UFA) established certification standards to help reduce global food waste. This month, UFA certified its first food product, SuperGrain+ flour made by baked goods company ReGrained. The flour is recycled from spent grain produced by breweries and is high in protein, dietary fiber, and prebiotics. The US beer industry generates more than 20 billion pounds of spent grain per year, and according to ReGrained, every pound of its upcycled flour prevents the carbon dioxide equivalent of burning 1 pound of coal and saves more than 300 gallons of water. Does the flour have an aftertaste of beer? Find out by trying ReGrained's line of crunchy snacks. SuperGrain+ flour is the main ingredient.
Image Source: AP Photo/Stephen Groves
Slaughterhouses around the country have been participating in a pilot program allowing them to process up to 1,450 hogs per hour, a significant increase over the previous maximum line speed of 1,106 hogs. The National Pork Producers Council and North American Meat Institute have been lobbying to make the faster line speeds permanent, but the USDA recently rejected their requests due to worker safety concerns. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union International, which represents 33,000 workers, welcomed the decision as well as the USDA's commitment to strengthening worker safety protections. As processors revert to previous maximum line speeds as of June 30, consumer prices may be affected. If processors decide to supply less pork to the market, wholesale and retail prices for ham, pork chops and bacon may go up.
Image Source: Aleph Farms
Israeli startup Aleph Farms aims to shift the global paradigm of meat production and consumption. The company's pioneering bioprinting technology cultivates living bovine cells in a lab to replicate the shape and texture of beef steak. Aleph’s chief executive Didier Toubia says the process is similar to the vascularization that occurs naturally as cattle grow and develop muscle. Toubia claims that Aleph's ribeye tastes, chews, and cooks much like a conventional steak. The company also says that it can tailor steaks to consumer preferences, increasing or decreasing factors like tenderness and leanness. Aleph's first products will reach the US market in the second half of 2022. However, the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to grant regulatory approval for the sale of cultivated meat.
Image Source: Courtesy The Spoon
San Francisco tech startup Air Protein has raised $32 million to create alternative meats for direct-to-consumer sales. The company feeds elements found in the air, such as carbon dioxide, to genetically modified microbes in a fermentation tank. The resulting protein is texturized and flavored to resemble various meats. Other than air, the technology requires very few resources, allowing "air protein" to be produced virtually anywhere in the world. Focus groups have yet to weigh in on the taste.