Cultured Meat, with Yaakov Nahmias
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: Why is cultivated meat healthier than traditionally farmed meat?
Yaakov Nahmias is an Israeli biomedical engineer and entrepreneur. He is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an affiliated member of the NIH-funded BioMEMS Resource Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Nahmias is the founding director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering. He is a co-founder of Israel’s BioDesign Medical Innovation program, listed as a major reason for Boston Scientific’s continued investment in Israel.
In 2014, he won the Rappaport Prize for Biomedical Sciences for his “groundbreaking work on liver tissue engineering” and the “development of nanotechnology therapies for the treatment of diabetes”.
In 2018, Nahmias became the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Future Meat Technologies. Now called Believer Meats, the company is a biotechnology firm which began producing cultured meat from chicken cells and went on to work on cultured lamb and beef. The company extracts cells from live animals. It cultures those cells in stainless steel fermenters, where they reproduce and develop into edible tissues.
The company claims that reproduction rates are ten times greater than others, while generating 20% of their greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to traditional farming. it uses 1% of the land and 4% of the water. In 2021, it reduced the cost of a cultured chicken breast from $7.50 to $1.70.
The stated mission of Believer Meats is to make it possible for all future generations to eat meat. The current system of raising and processing animals to meet the growing global demand for meat is not sustainable. At Believer, they are focused on developing the world’s most efficient cell-cultivation technology, so that they can make delicious meat available and accessible to everyone—without harming animals or our planet.
In this program, Prof. Nahmias speaks with us about Believer Meats, and also about his recently-launched venture, Moon Steak, which takes cultured meat a step even further. Watch the video of what happened when Israeli Master Chef judge Michal Ansky tried one of their new products.