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Leonardo DiCaprio wants to save the planet. He just invested in 2 cell-based meat companies to help him do this.

Oscar-winning actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has invested an undisclosed amount in cellular meat companies Aleph Farms and Mosa Meat. DiCaprio joins the companies as an investor and advisor to help advance the development of cell-based meat – also known as “cultured,” “lab-grown” and “cultured” meat – which is grown from a small amount of animal cells. in a lab in a process that creates real meat without the need to slaughter animals.

As pioneers in the cell-based meat industry, Aleph Farms and Mosa Meats work specifically on producing beef directly from animal cells. In 2013, Mosa Meat unveiled the world’s first cultured burger using a small amount of cow cells. Last year, the company raised nearly $ 20 million in a Series B fundraiser after raising $ 55 million a few months earlier. The company is using the funding to expand its pilot production plant in Maastricht, the Netherlands, including establishing an industrial-scale production line and expanding its team.

For its part, Israel-based Aleph Farms introduced the first thin-cell-based beef steak in 2018 and has since grown in size and adapted it to be viable for large-scale production. In 2019, Aleph Farms grew their Cellular Steak on the International Space Station outside of Earth’s orbit to show that technology can create food sources with very limited natural resources, such as land and water.

“One of the most effective ways to tackle the climate crisis is to transform our food system,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms offer new ways to meet global demand for beef, while solving some of the most pressing problems in today’s industrial beef production. I am very happy to join them as an advisor and investor as they prepare to introduce farmed beef to consumers.

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Leonardo DiCaprio supports cell-based meat to save the planet

DiCaprio chose Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms for their latest investment in sustainability because of their mission to replace traditionally raised meat with more environmentally friendly cell-based alternatives.

Mosa Meat is currently working to improve its cell culture methods and develop a plant-based serum to nourish cells. Previously, the nutrient serum used to nourish cells was fetal bovine serum (from the blood of a fetal cow) which is both inhuman and expensive. The company wants to be able to use a completely animal-free growing medium before working on regulatory approval for its products and hopes to launch its slaughter-free beef products once it obtains regulatory approval in Europe. The regulatory process is expected to take about a year and a half, and the company aims to have a product on the market by the end of 2022. Singapore is currently the only country in the world to have approved the sale of Meat cell products.

Aleph Farms strives to improve its processes and diversify its product offerings. Earlier this year, the company released a thicker rib eye steak featuring all of the structures common to the rib eye cut, including muscle, fat, and a vascular-like system. Currently, Aleph Farms is transferring its first commercial prototype to its first pilot production plant with a launch slated for 2022.

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Cellular meat as a sustainable solution

Cell-based meat is a growing sector that allows consumers to continue to eat meat but without the negative impacts of industrial meat production. Analysts have predicted that the cell-based meat market could reach $ 25 billion by 2030. According to a study by independent research consultant CE Delft, cell-based beef production is expected to reduce the market. 92 percent climate impact, 93 percent air pollution, 95 percent less land use and 78 percent less water compared to industrial beef production.

It also offers the possibility of using land currently used for animal agriculture for rewilding habitats, which would naturally reduce emissions, or to produce more food for humans. And from a health perspective, the automated and sterile environments in which cell-based meat is produced and manufactured eliminate the use of antibiotics (which are heavily used in farm animals) and significantly reduce the risk. pathogens, contaminants and foodborne illnesses associated with intensive animal husbandry.

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s vegan investment

As a passionate environmentalist, DiCaprio uses his celebrity status to raise awareness of the negative environmental impact of animal farming. Earlier this year, the actor urged his 19.5 million Twitter followers and 18 million Facebook followers to reduce their meat consumption to tackle the climate crisis. DiCaprio shared an image of a Beyond Burger with a statistic on the positive carbon impact of every American replacing a beef burger with a plant-based option once a week, which would be the equivalent of removing 12 million cars. of the road. “Each person can help the planet and reduce climate change with a little choice every week,” DiCaprio said on social media.

With his knowledge of the effects of food production on the environment and climate change, DiCaprio has also invested in a number of sustainable food companies. He was an early investor in the vegan meat brand Beyond Meat and has since invested in other vegan companies including vegan milk brand Califia Farms, chickpea snack company HIPPEAS, and tech company. no pets Perfect Day.

Earlier this month, DiCaprio approved a new movie, Eat our way to extinction– told by his Titanic co-starring Kate Winslet, on the environmental effects of animal agriculture on the planet. “This is the movie that future generations will wish on everyone today,” DiCaprio said in the movie trailer.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes

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