Clean meat company, Wildtype recently netted $3.5 million in funding. The company is working to develop technology that allows cellular agriculture to grow any type of animal protein, not just muscle meat. For now, in a bid to create sustainable seafood, Wildtype is developing small pieces of lab-grown salmon that hold their shape when used in sushi. Then, they intend to advance and make salmon lox.
Salmon filets are set to follow, and if all goes to plan, will help to form the basis of Wildtype’s clean meat technology for any animal protein.
Wildtype was founded by Justin Kolbeck, a former U.S. diplomat, and Arye Elfenbein MD and Ph.D., a cardiology researcher.
Elfenbein’s research focused on how functional muscle tissue can be regrown post-heart-attack. It was during his research that he had an epiphany of sorts. He realized tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and cell development could not just solve heart problems “but could feed the world,” according to TechCrunch.
Clean meat eliminates the need for raising livestock animals. Animal agricultural practices create more greenhouse gases than the transportation sector and use a significant amount of natural resources. Clean meat also eliminates the risk of foodborne illnesses common in animal products. No antibiotics or growth hormones are needed. And the technology also reduces the suffering of billions of animals currently raised for food.
Last year, a report concluded that a 69 percent increase in available food calories is necessary to feed the planet’s population set to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Current agriculture practices are unsustainable. But if clean meat startups like Wildtype, Memphis Meats, JUST, and SuperMeat, to name a few are successful, they could help reduce the environmental impact of food production while scaling to meet the demand of a growing population.
Image Credit: Wildtype