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Would You Order a Lab-Grown Tiger Steak at a Restaurant?

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Eating a steak that was sourced from a tiger sounds exotic, taboo, and highly illegal (because it is). Would you try a tiger steak if it didn’t involve any slaughter?

A start-up based in New York called Primeval Foods wants to offer exactly that. The company uses cultivated meat production methods to create meat analogs from wild animals, without slaughtering them. Here’s what the company says about its process:

We select a small sample of tissue from the healthiest wild animals; meanwhile, they continue to enjoy their life. Big cats are carnivores with a distinct mobility pattern, and this is the reason behind their unique amino acid and protein profile. Elephants are colossal herbivores who travel long distances, and the fattiness in their muscle tissue exposes an exceptional umami experience.” 

The extracted cells are fed essential macronutrients, such as amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, and then grown in stainless steel bioreactors. During this time the cells follow their natural process to form meat inside the cultivators, just like they would inside the animal’s body. After a few weeks, the meat is then ready for harvest.

The possibilities of cultivated meat are endless – as long as a company can access healthy and living cells, cultivated meat can be created. Currently, Primeval Foods is working on creating cultivated meat from lion, zebra, tiger, and other wild animals.

When will eager foodies get to try a tiger steak or zebra brisket? The company shared on its website that it will first serve its initial products in fine dining establishments sometime in the future.

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