Food + Science Talks
Emulating nature’s genius for creating cultivated beef steaks
Dr. Neta Lavon

The increasing consumer demand for meat and the limited resources available to answer it, force the food systems to seek for sustainable ways to produce meat products in scale, where and when they’re needed.

At Aleph Farms through the process of identifying the composition and structure of whole beef steaks, we meet a nature-inspired design with scientific and cultural knowledge that together enables us to produce the same meat products, but without the downsides. By understanding the precise functions and properties of ingredients, we are able to formulate the desired attributes of our products, which aim to deliver a multi-sensorial eating experience. Our Unique technology allows us to grow a meat cut form the various cell types comprising it, in 3D, under controlled conditions, to bring the full sensorial experience of a whole beef steak.

In Our Own Image: Artifacts from the Future of Cultured Meat
Max Elder

Marshall McLuhan once said, “We shape our tools and then the tools shape us.” Often this idea is applied to technology. One doesn’t need to look far to see how smartphones have shaped us more than we’d like to admit. However, our toolbox is much larger than technology. It also includes imagery, an incredibly powerful tool to communicate information-rich and emotionally-laden ideas. As it turns out, we shape our images in the present and those images shape our future. This talk will explore how to use foresight to create images related to cultured meat that are constructive in building the future that we want.

Development of a Networked Culture system (CulNet system) for production of cell-based meat
Ikko Kawashima

The sustainability of producing meat and other animal-sourced agricultural products are coming under question due to their large environmental footprint. Possibilities of such products made by mammalian cell culture has been sought since the 1930’s, however any scaling effort has been hindered by prohibitively high costs of adding serum and endocrine factors in cell culturing.

In in vivo systems, minor compounds are produced in organs, and are transported to other organs and tissues through blood vessels. In this study, a scalable flow-based system that allows inter-organ factor transfer, with food grade basal medium was constructed and tested for animal cell cultures to reduce the cost of cell culturing.
With the CulNet system, we have found intercellular interactions that proliferate cells and sustain organs such as liver and muscle tissues for over 250 days and counting; without any addition of serums or endocrine factors and would significantly reduce costs of cell culturing.

This newly developed basal medium consisting only of food and food additives have solved one of the major issues for using cultured cells in food; and has the potential for many other uses.

All of the Above: The Clean Energy Strategy for Sustainable Protein
Paul Shapiro
With the rapid mainstreaming of plant-based meat, some are asking whether cultivated meat is even necessary. In this talk, author and CEO Paul Shapiro will argue that we can’t rely on one strategy alone. The problems of fossil fuels are so severe that we need many alternatives: wind solar, geothermal, etc. Similarly, the problems of factory farms are so severe we need many alternatives: plant meat, cultivated meat, blended meat, etc.
Workshop Sessions
Workshop: Let’s design a bioreactor system producing the food of the future
Nina Buffi
Between every great idea and its industrial implementation there is a huge space for innovation and creativity. Cultured meat, and more generally cellular agriculture, is no exception. In order to produce cultured meat at a sustainable cost and with the least impact on the environment, we need a cell source that can perform enough doublings, a cheap medium and feed, a bioprocess for cell expansion and differentiation, a bioreactor technology adapting to it: all elements that needs to be developed and brought together. During this workshop we will go through the pro and cons of different bioreactor types, sketch together a bioreactor for the development of a cultured meat bioprocess, discuss how it can be scaled up and how medium costs can be reduced. The role of modern technologies, such as web-based user interfaces, will also be presented: are you ready to remote control a device on the other side of the ocean?
Workshop: The Regulatory Landscape
Brian P. Sylvester
The FDA and USDA are set to regulate cell-based meat, but the devil will be in the details. This Regulatory Workshop will unpack the evolving regulatory conversation – What do we mean by “Pre-Market Safety”? What is “GRAS”? And how might state legislative activity shape potential federal action on the labeling front?
Workshop: Let’s grow meat at home! – Introduction to DIY animal cell culture
Yuki Hanyu, PhD
The concept of “home meat culture vat” in domestic kitchens is not new, but actual demonstrations have been limited. In this workshop, we follow the DIY culture medium and cell culture protocols developed by the Shojinmeat Project, and look into what cell culture in kitchens might look like. 
Opportunities in Pet Food
The kids today, well, they’re not having kids today. Not the human kind, at least. Millennials seem to favor being pet parents rather than becoming human parents. There are more dogs in San Francisco than there are children, and countless other big cities in the US are similar.
Nearly three-quarters of US households have pets; that’s approx 200 million dogs and cats in the US, compared to only 74 million children. If these furry US citizens were their own country, they’d be the fifth-largest consumer of meat in the world. As it continues to grow steadily every year, it’s an incredible time economically for the pet food industry-at almost $30 billion annually in the US. The opportunities with cultured meat in pet food, however, are not just financial as this future product will help solve many of the moral dilemmas these particular consumers have.
Today’s pet parents are increasingly concerned about climate change, sustainability, food transparency, and as animal lovers, they have growing concerns about farmed animals, both terrestrial and aquatic.
Pioneers in the future of pet food join together on this groundbreaking panel to discuss the state of what might be the most overlooked frontier in this more cultured, less animal-dependent industry.  

“The pet food market is likely to be the first where cell-based meats are widely used and, because of its size, it will take material profits away from the animal-derived meat industry, thereby accelerating the wider disruption.”  RethinkX