Mammoth dumpling? Cultured meat made from extinct animal DNA
A cell-based meat company has resurrected the extinct woolly mammoth – in the form of a lab-grown meatball.
The woolly mammoth was chosen by Vow because the extinct mammal is a symbol of loss and climate change, explains a video released by the company.
The product was unveiled on Tuesday at Nemo, a science museum in the Netherlands. The “iconic” meatball was chosen because of its worldwide popularity “for centuries,” Vow said.
“It’s an accessible dish that’s simple to prepare and affordable,” says their website. “Exactly what we hope to achieve for cultured meat products in the future.”
George Peppou, co-founder and CEO of Vow, wrote in a 2021 post that the food-tech startup believes the animals domesticated by our ancestors “are not the best possible meat we can produce with new technologies.” .
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According to the Guardian, Vow has used DNA from 50 animal species so far, including a variety of fish, alpacas, buffaloes, crocodiles, kangaroos and peacocks, with energy coming from sources renewable.
Another goal, said Vow co-founder Tim Noakesmith, is to shift billions of meat eaters from traditional animal protein to eating tasty and nutritious cell-grown meat.
How was woolly mammoth meat made?
According to researchers from Vow and the Australian Institute of Bioengineering at the University of Queensland.
Working with creative agency Wunderman Thompson, Vow took the elephant and mammoth DNA sequences and placed them into stem cells of a sheep to replicate the cells used to grow “the first meat in the world”. world made from the extinct woolly mammoth”.
Over 20 billion cells were used to create each meatball.
Can you eat it?
The mammoth meatball is not ready to eat and no one has tasted it yet, according to the company’s website.
“Since we are dealing with an extinct protein, it will take some time before we can guarantee that mammoth meat is safe and healthy,” the website says.
Cultured meat products can only be purchased and consumed in Singapore, the first country to approve the commercial sale of cultured meat in 2020.
Legislation around the world prohibits the sale of cultured meat products in supermarkets or restaurants, according to Vow.
This year, diners in Singapore will have the opportunity to try the first cultured meat sold in restaurants – a Japanese quail.
More coverage from USA TODAY
Camille Fine is a Trending Visual Producer on USA TODAY’s NOW Team.
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