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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Silicon Valley wrestles with religion. Is high-tech “clean meat” kosher and halal?

January 22, 2018: from the DailyQuartz.com:

"For thousands of years, meat has come exclusively from sentient animals. And for a sizable portion of humanity, how to raise and slaughter those animals has been a central component in religious-dieting doctrine. But religious scholars are now being confronted with a brand new meat question: how does high-tech cell cultured meat—known in the food industry as “clean meat”—fit in an adherent diet?"

"The ascendance of high-tech meat companies such as Hampton Creek, Memphis Meats, SuperMeat, and Finless Foods has sparked novel conversations in Jewish and Muslim circles over whether these novel products are kosher and halal, respectively. And with the first clean meat products expected to hit the market this year, tech companies are actively engaging with groups responsible for certifying food products as kosher and halal, for obvious reasons. The global kosher market is worth more than $24 billion; the halal market $1.6 trillion globally."

"Clean meat turns conventional meat production on its head. The startups developing these products don’t rely on raising and slaughtering chickens, cows, and pigs; they need only a handful of animal cells. They then take those cells, put them in a nutrient-dense liquid medium in a bioreactor, where they grow and proliferate. The scientists behind the resulting product—a combination of muscle and fat tissue—say it’s identical to conventional meat on a molecular level."

"The vegan CEOs of clean-meat startups dream of a system in which no animal will ever have to be slaughtered to be eaten. Hampton Creek touts its ability to make ground chicken from cells collected at the tip of a plucked feather."

"But that feather-derived ground chicken wouldn’t be considered kosher, Genack says. To be kosher, the cells would have to be harvested from a chicken slaughtered in accordance with religious standards, he says. The same idea would theoretically apply for halal meats, according to a 2017 study of the topic published by the Journal of Religion and Health."

"In the context of kosher and halal foods, that would mean animals would still play a sacrificial role in food production. Cells will have to be collected from a properly slaughtered animal, then scientists will have to figure out how to turn those starter cells into an immortal line. It isn’t ideal from the perspective of some vegans, but it would theoretically spare billions of animal lives."

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