In recent years, there is an increasing global concern about the effects of meat on human health and climate change. Additionally, recent global health crises and geopolitical conflicts have caused tremendous challenges to food supply chains, motivating governments to diversify their approaches to food production to strengthen food security. Individuals also greatly concerned by the meat industry are taking matters into their own hands and veganism has gone from a minor fad to a popular global mainstream movement today.
The climate crisis we are facing today has tragically impacted access to nutritious and affordable food options for billions of people, especially communities that rely on food imports. Food security has become a global challenge, driving interest and investment in food tech – this is evident in the rapid growth of the industry in Israel. Despite the problems at hand, Israel has risen to the challenge and proven itself to be a pioneer in the field of alternative proteins, especially in regards to cultivated meat. In a world where people are becoming increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, alternative proteins are particularly important as they are one of the most promising sectors of food tech trying to combat climate change effects and improve food security. In 2021 the Israeli government granted an unprecedented $18 million towards cultivated meat research, with the president Isaac Herzog even sampling some cultivated meat (source: Vegconomist, Cultivated Meat publication May 2022). It is also worth noting that in 2021 36% of global investment in cultivated proteins were in Israeli companies (source: GFI Israel State of Alternative Protein Innovation Report March 2022).
Israel hosts many promising alternative protein companies such as SuperMeat, Mermadefoods, Steakholder Foods, YoEgg and Aleph Farms.
SuperMeat, founded in 2015 has made it their mission to supply the world with high quality meat grown directly from animal cells that have been manufactured in a sustainable and animal friendly way.
Mermadefoods is an innovative cellular aquaculture company, bringing a sustainable and novel mindset to the production of cell based seafood. Their approach enables mass production of cultured seafood using sustainable practices we can be appreciative of.
Steakholder Foods, founded in 2019 and formerly known as MeaTech 3D Ltd, are utilising 3D bioprinting technology and advanced cellular biology to develop hybrid meat products and a range of alternative proteins.
YoEgg since 2019 has been striving to become the largest and most sustainable egg producer in the world without the use of chickens. The company has already raised an impressive US $5 million and is continuing to steadily grow.
Finally, Aleph Farms, the brainchild of Strauss Group, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and veteran CEO Didier Toubia entered the market in 2017 with beef steaks grown from non-genetically engineered and non-immortalised cells isolated from a living cow.
These are just a few of the many innovative and disruptive food tech companies operating in Israel. Given the nature of the challenges we are all facing globally, the future of food tech and more specifically alternative protein technology should have all our attention as it rises in prominence.