Timeline of cellular agriculture

Last updated

This page is a timeline of major events in the history of cellular agriculture . Cellular agriculture refers to the development of agricultural products - especially animal products - from cell cultures rather than the bodies of living organisms. This includes in vitro or cultured meat, as well as cultured dairy, eggs, leather, gelatin, and silk. In recent years a number of cellular animal agriculture companies and non-profits have emerged due to technological advances and increasing concern over the animal welfare and rights, environmental, and public health problems associated with conventional animal agriculture. [1]



1912French biologist Alexis Carrel keeps a piece of chick heart muscle alive in a Petri dish, demonstrating the possibility of keeping muscle tissue alive outside of the body. [2]
1930 Frederick Edwin Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead predicts that "It will no longer be necessary to go to the extravagant length of rearing a bullock in order to eat its steak. From one 'parent' steak of choice tenderness it will be possible to grow as large and as juicy a steak as can be desired." [3]
1932 Winston Churchill writes "Fifty years hence we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium." [3]
Early 1950s Willem van Eelen recognizes the possibility of generating meat from tissue culture. [2]
1971Russell Ross achieves the in vitro cultivation of muscular fibers. [4]
1995The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of commercial in-vitro meat production. [5]
1999Willem van Eelen secures the first patent for cultured meat. [2]
2001 NASA begins in vitro meat experiments, producing cultured turkey meat. [6] [7]
2002Researchers culture muscle tissue of the common goldfish in Petri dishes. The meat was judged by a test-panel to be acceptable as food. [2]
2003 Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr of the Tissue Culture and Art Project and Harvard Medical School produce an edible steak from frog stem cells. [8]
2004Jason Matheny founds New Harvest, the first non-profit to work for the development of cultured meat. [3]
2005Dutch government agency SenterNovem begins funding cultured meat research. [9]
2005The first peer-reviewed journal article on lab-grown meat appears in Tissue Engineering. [10]
2008The In Vitro Meat Consortium holds the first international conference on the production of in vitro meat. [11]
2008 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offers a $1 million prize to the first group to make a commercially viable lab-grown chicken by 2012. [5]
2011The company Modern Meadow, aimed at producing cultured leather and meat, is founded. [12]
2013The first cultured hamburger, developed by Dutch researcher Mark Post's lab, is taste-tested by Hanni Rützler. [13]
2014 Muufri and The EVERY Company, companies aimed at producing cultured dairy and eggs, respectively, are founded with the assistance of New Harvest. [14] [15]
2014Real Vegan Cheese, a startup aimed at creating cultured cheese, is founded. [16]
2014 Modern Meadow presents "steak chips", discs of lab-grown meat that could be produced at relatively low cost. [12]
2015The Modern Agriculture Foundation, which focuses on developing cultured chicken meat (as chickens make up the large majority of land animals killed for food [17] ), is founded in Israel. [18]
2015According to Mark Post's lab, the cost of producing a cultured hamburger patty drops from $325,000 in 2013 to less than $12. [19]
2016New Crop Capital, a private venture capital fund investing in alternatives to animal agriculture - including cellular agriculture - is founded. Its $25 million portfolio includes cultured meat company Memphis Meats and cultured collagen company Gelzen, along with Lighter, a software platform designed to facilitate plant-based eating, a plant-based meal delivery service called Purple Carrot, a dairy alternative Lyrical Foods, the New Zealand plant-based meat company Sunfed, and alternative cheese company Miyoko’s Kitchen. [20]
2016 The Good Food Institute, an organization devoted to promoting alternatives to animal food products - including cellular agriculture - is founded. [21]
2016 Memphis Meats announces the creation of the first cultured meatball. [22]
2016 New Harvest hosted New Harvest 2016: Experience Cellular Agriculture, the first-ever global cellular agriculture conference. [23]
2018 Paul Shapiro's book Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, which chronicles the entrepreneurs, scientists and investors seeking to create the world's first slaughter-free meat. [24] The book was placed on The Washington Post's bestseller list. [25]
2019 Perfect Day (formerly Muufri) sells 1000 3-pint bundles of ice cream made with non-animal whey protein. [26]
2020Memphis Meats received a US$161 million investment in its Series B, which is more than everything that had been invested in the industry so far which was US$155 million. [27]
2021 Tufts University is awarded US$10 million by the USDA to establish the National Institute for Cellular Agriculture. [28]

See also

Related Research Articles

Cultured meat Animal flesh product that has never been part of a living animal

Cultured meat is a meat produced by in vitro cell cultures of animal cells. It is a form of cellular agriculture, with such agricultural methods being explored in the context of increased consumer demand for protein.

Paul Shapiro (author) American writer and activist

Paul Shapiro is an American writer who authored the 2018 book Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World. He's also the CEO and cofounder of The Better Meat Co. and the host of the Business for Good Podcast. He has delivered four TEDx talks relating to sustainable food and animal welfare. Prior to publishing Clean Meat, he was known for being an animal protection advocate, both as the founder of Animal Outlook and a Vice President at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

New Harvest is a donor-funded research institute dedicated to the field of cellular agriculture, focusing on advances in scientific research efforts surrounding cultured animal products. Its research aims to resolve growing environmental and ethical concerns associated with industrial livestock production.

Eat Just, Inc. is a private company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops and markets plant-based alternatives to conventionally produced egg products. Eat Just was founded in 2011 by Josh Tetrick and Josh Balk. It raised about $120 million in early venture capital and became a unicorn in 2016 by surpassing a $1 billion valuation. It has been involved in several highly publicized disputes with traditional egg industry interests but has also partnered with them to produce and sell products. In December 2020, its lab-grown chicken became the first lab-grown meat to receive regulatory approval in Singapore. Shortly thereafter, Eat Just's cultured meat was sold to diners at the Singapore restaurant 1880, making it the "world's first commercial sale of cell-cultured meat".

Upside Foods American food technology company

Upside Foods is a food technology company headquartered in Berkeley, California, aiming to grow sustainable cultured meat. The company was founded in 2015 by Uma Valeti (CEO), Nicholas Genovese (CSO), and Will Clem. Valeti was a cardiologist and a professor at the University of Minnesota.

This timeline describes major events in the history of animal welfare and animal rights.

This page is a timeline of the major events in the history of animal welfare and rights in the United States.

The Good Food Institute Nonprofit promoting animal product alternatives

The Good Food Institute (GFI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes plant- and cell-based alternatives to animal products, particularly meat, dairy, and eggs. It was created in 2016 by the nonprofit organization Mercy For Animals with Bruce Friedrich as the chief executive officer. GFI has more than 100 staff across six offices in the United States, India, Israel, Brazil, Asia Pacific, and Europe.

SuperMeat Israeli startup company

SuperMeat is an Israeli startup company working to develop a "meal-ready" chicken cultured meat product created through the use of cell culture.

Cellular agriculture Production of agriculture products from cell cultures

Cellular agriculture focuses on the production of agriculture products from cell cultures using a combination of biotechnology, tissue engineering, molecular biology, and synthetic biology to create and design new methods of producing proteins, fats, and tissues that would otherwise come from traditional agriculture. Most of the industry is focused on animal products such as meat, milk, and eggs, produced in cell culture rather than raising and slaughtering farmed livestock which is associated with substantial global problems of detrimental environmental impacts, animal welfare, food security and human health. Cellular agriculture is field of the biobased economy. The most well known cellular agriculture concept is cultured meat.

Mark Post

Marcus Johannes "Mark" Post is a Dutch pharmacologist who is Professor of Vascular Physiology at Maastricht University and Professor of Angiogenesis in Tissue Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. On 5 August 2013, he was the first in the world to present a proof of concept for cultured meat. In 2020, he was listed by Prospect as the ninth-greatest thinker for the COVID-19 era.

Mosa Meat Dutch food technology company

Mosa Meat is a Dutch food technology company, headquartered in Maastricht, Netherlands, creating production methods for cultured meat. It was founded in May 2016.

Cellular Agriculture Society American nonprofit organization

Cellular Agriculture Society is a lobby organization. It is an international 501(c)(3) organization based in Miami, created in 2017 to research, fund and advance cellular agriculture.

Aleph Farms is a cultured meat startup. The company was co-founded in 2017 with the Israeli food-tech incubator “The Kitchen” of Strauss Group Ltd., and with Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and is headquartered in Rehovot, Israel.

Perfect Day, Inc. is a food technology startup company based in Berkeley, California, that has developed processes of creating dairy proteins, including casein and whey, by fermentation in microbiota, specifically from fungi in bioreactors, instead of extraction from bovine milk.

BioTech Foods Spanish food technology company

BioTech Foods is a Spanish biotechnology company dedicated to the development of cultured meat from the cultivation of muscle cells previously extracted from animals.

Entomoculture is a term Natalie Rubio at Tufts University coined to describe the subfield of cellular agriculture, which specifically deals with the production of insect tissue in vitro. It draws on principles more generally used in tissue engineering and has many scientific similarities to Baculovirus Expression Vectors or soft robotics. The field has mainly been proposed because of its potential technical advantages over mammalian cells in generating cultivated meat.

Willem van Eelen Dutch researcher and businessperson

Willem Frederik van Eelen was a Dutch researcher and businessperson, who pioneered the creation and development of cultured meat. He is recognized as one of the "godfathers of cultured meat".

Isha Datar Public advocate

Isha Datar is the executive director of New Harvest and known for her work in cellular agriculture, the production of agricultural products from cell cultures.

Vow is an Australian company that plans to grow cultured meat for commercial distribution.


  1. "Cellular agriculture for a brighter future". The Animalist. March 22, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Zuhaib Fayaz Bhat; Hina Fayaz (April 2011). "Prospectus of cultured meat—advancing meat alternatives". Journal of Food Science and Technology. 48 (2). doi:10.1007/s13197-010-0198-7. PMC   3551074 .
  3. 1 2 3 "Culturing Meat for the Future: Anti-Death Versus Anti-Life" (PDF). Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  4. Ross, Russell (1 July 1971). "Growth of Smooth Muscle in Culture and Formation of Elastic Fibers". The Journal of Cell Biology. pp. 172–186. doi:10.1083/jcb.50.1.172 . Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  5. 1 2 Markowski, Jonathon (December 31, 2013). "Moments in Meat History Part IX – In-Vitro Meat" . Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  6. Macintyre, Ben (2007-01-20). "Test-tube meat science's next leap". The Australian . Retrieved 2011-11-26.
  7. "The Year in Science: Technology". Discover. January 2006. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  8. "Ingestion / Disembodied Cuisine". Cabinet Magazine. Winter 2004–2005.
  9. Datar, Isha (November 3, 2015). "Mark Post's Cultured Beef". New Harvest. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  10. "Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale" (Press release). University of Maryland. 2005-07-06. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  11. Siegelbaum, D.J. (2008-04-23). "In Search of a Test-Tube Hamburger". Time . Archived from the original on January 22, 2010. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  12. 1 2 Harvey, Chelsea (September 26, 2014). "This Brooklyn Startup Wowed The Science Community With Lab-Made 'Meat Chips'". Business Insider. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  13. Fountain, Henry (August 5, 2013). "A Lab-Grown Burger Gets a Taste Test". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  14. Datar, Isha (November 5, 2015). "Muufri: Milk without Cows". New Harvest. Archived from the original on June 9, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  15. Datar, Isha (November 4, 2015). "Clara Foods: Egg Whites without Hens". New Harvest. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  16. Wohlsen, Marcus (April 15, 2015). "Cow Milk Without the Cow is Coming to Change Food Forever". Wired. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  17. United Poultry Concerns. "Chickens" . Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  18. Leichman, Abigail Klein (November 19, 2015). "Coming soon: chicken meat without slaughter". Israel21c. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  19. Crew, Bec (April 2, 2015). "Cost of lab-grown burger patty drops from $325,000 to $11.36". Science Alert. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  20. Burwood-Taylor, Louisa (March 17, 2016). "New Crop Capital Closes $25m Fund, Invests in Beyond Meat". AgFunderNews. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  21. Zacharias, Nil (March 16, 2016). "The Race to Disrupt Animal Agriculture Just Got a $25 Million Shot in the Arm, and a New Non-Profit" . Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  22. Hanson, Hilary (February 2, 2016). "'World's First' Lab-Grown Meatball Looks Pretty Damn Tasty". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  23. "First-ever cellular agriculture conference". May 31, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  24. Clean Meat. ISBN   978-1-5011-8908-1 . Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  25. "Washington bestsellers: Hardcover nonfiction". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  26. Kowitt, Beth (July 11, 2019). "The First 'Animal-Free' Ice Cream Hits the Market". Fortune. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  27. "Memphis Meats' investment more than doubles global investment". The Good Food Institute. 2020-01-22. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  28. Wolf, Michael (2021-10-13). "USDA Awards $10 Million to Tufts University to Establish a Cultivated Protein Center of Excellence". The Spoon. Retrieved 2021-10-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)