Food Company Successfully Grows Beef in Space

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. cultivate / ˈkʌl təˌveɪt / (v) – to grow something under controlled conditions

    After three months, the researchers successfully cultivated seaweed in the laboratory.

  2. mimic / ˈmɪm ɪk / (v) – to imitate someone or something

    My mother is good at mimicking foreign accents.

  3. livestock / ˈlaɪvˌstɒk / (n) – animals raised on a farm for meat and other products

    Taking care of livestock requires a huge piece of land.

  4. reliant / rɪˈlaɪ ənt / (adj) – dependent

    Charitable organizations are often reliant on public donations.

  5. large-scale / ˈlɑrdʒˈskeɪl / (adj) – involving a large amount or wide area

    The large-scale research project will involve all schools in the country.


Read the text below.

Aleph Farms, a food company from Israel, successfully cultivated meat aboard the International Space Station.

To accomplish this, scientists conducted an experiment by mimicking the natural muscle-tissue regeneration that happens inside a cow’s body. They harvested cells from a cow and took them to space. Then, they put the cells in an environment that resembled the insides of a cow.

The company created the space-grown beef using technology from the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions.

In a statement, Aleph Farms said that the experiment of growing beef in a laboratory aims to help combat climate change. According to a UN report, 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions come from cows. These make up 14.5% of emissions worldwide.

Additionally, the experiment can help save on food, water, and energy used in raising livestock. Didier Toubia [DID-yeh tuhb-YAH], Aleph Farms’s CEO, said the experiment shows that people can produce food without being reliant on natural sources like land and water.

Despite the experiment’s success, growing meat in space is not yet seen as possible in the near future. According to Toubia, Aleph Farms’s cultivated meat is not yet ready for consumption. He said that for now, the company has reached only the first milestone of meat production in space and developed the framework for this practice. He added that for this experiment, they only focused on copying the structure and texture of meat.

In addition, the large-scale production of meat in space would be challenging since delivering the materials to and from the station takes some time. However, in the future, Aleph Farms is considering growing meat on Earth through “bio-farms.”

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If space-grown meat becomes available for consumption, would you try it? Why or why not?
• Do you think space-grown meat can replace animal meat in the future? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Why do you think scientists try to grow things in space? Discuss.
• Do you think growing things in space is worth it in the long run? Why or why not?