From Theory to the Plate: Cultured Meat and Alternative Proteins as a Response to the Climate Crisis
An event held by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and, Technology at COP27’s Israeli Pavilion showcased Israeli innovation and progress in the field, which could help mitigate global warming
Edited by: TJVNews.com
The animal-based foods industry, which causes greenhouse gas emissions and involves inefficient land and water use, is on the rise, and the global consumption of its products is higher than ever before. Creative solutions for the emerging global food crisis is an increasingly urgent need; alternative proteins, which include cultured meat and plant-based meat, provide an option that could lead to a decrease of up to 92% in greenhouse gas emissions, in comparison to conventional meat.
An event hosted by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology at COP27 highlighted innovations in cultured meat and alternative proteins technologies to mitigate the effects of climate change was held yesterday (Thursday) in the Israeli Pavilion at COP27, the UN’s climate conference at Sharm el-Sheikh. The event – initiated by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology in collaboration with the Council for Higher Education and the Ministry of Agriculture – was attended by Tamar Zandberg, Minister of Environmental Protection; Tom Dan, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology; and the ministry’s Chief Scientist, Prof. Avi Domb.
Discussions during the event focused on government efforts to promote R&D of alternative proteins and the Israeli companies developing this field. The Innovation Authority’s Hanan Brand, Aleph Farms’ Dr. Lee Recht, and CEO of GFI Israel, Nir Goldstein, spoke on the subject.
Minister Tamar Zandberg said at the event: “I congratulate the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology and GFI for their close partnership in the field of alternative protein innovations. This field holds personal significance for me, both as a vegan and as the Minister of Environmental Protection. The animal-based product industry is responsible for 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and for damaging ecological systems. Israel is a world leader in the field of alternative proteins, and this is an excellent opportunity for us to make a contribution not only to the technological innovation economy, but also to the effort of saving the world.”
Tom Dan, the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology’s Deputy Director-General, said: “The Israeli Industry has developed technologies aimed at producing cultured meat for the price of just a few dollars per kilograms (instead of $2,000 today). Once they mature, we will witness a transformation in our eating habits; global food security, currently threatened by climate change, will increase; and, in turn, greenhouse gas emissions will decrease. This is made possible by significant state investments in R&D, and it is precisely why the National Council for Civilian Research and Development has defined this field as a national priority, leading to the allocation of substantial resources in the coming years.” Chief Scientist Prof. Avi Domb said: “The commercialization of alternative proteins is expected to provide a response to the emission of greenhouse gases and to food security challenges, thereby becoming a central part of human coping with climate change. Israel is a leader in the field, both in academia and in the industry. Cultured meat products we will see in supermarkets in the coming years are based on academic developments that originated in research on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Academia, especially the applied sciences, have a tremendous role to play in the field of climate change, and this is why we are seeing considerable government investments in it: Applied science projects supported by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology’s research fund, and Innovation Authority investments in start-ups promoting the industry.”
Nir Goldstein, CEO of GFI Israel, said: “Climate change is here, as is the global food crisis, and no other field is second to alternative proteins – cultured or plant-based meat – in terms of thepotential contribution Israeli technology can make. Worldwide, Israel ranks second in the scope ofinvestments in startups producing alternative proteins, with over a $1 billion raised to date. The government has a crucial role in establishing Israeli leadership of this field – in addition to the support it provides, strategic investment is also needed in academic research and R&D”.