Many of you have checked in to ask when our first cultured meat pet food product, a cultured mouse cat treat, will be ready, and we are happy to report that we are making great progress!
But, also, that the creation of amazing, game-changing products takes time. (Click here to read a refresher on what exactly cultured meat is.)
We get why alternatives to traditional meat might be on your mind — COVID-19 is the result of humans raising animals for slaughter. Ditto SARS, MERS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu and many more. In short, large-scale confinement of animals poses a public health threat by increasing the potential of emerging zoonotic diseases. Now, more than any other time in history, cultured meat has a clear path forward as it has none of those problems caused by the raising and production of traditional meat.
And our progress is encouraging. Early last year, we successfully made a prototype of the world’s first cultured meat pet treat using cultured mouse tissue — the ancestral diet of the cat. Our feline tester, Frankie, loved it!
And now, in order to commercialize this exciting product and move beyond that prototype phase, we need our own proprietary cell line, meaning, our own mice cells.
Our first step towards this goal was to adopt three adorable mice who would have otherwise been used for research purposes. We humanely took a small amount of skin from their ears and from that tissue we are isolating the cells we need to grow our revolutionary cat treat.
These cuties have been given a cozy forever home in a handmade hutch constructed by our stem cell scientist, Magdalena Mahlstedt. Her four-year-old son was given official naming rights, hence their names Poopsocks, Blobfish and Cockapoo!
And now to answer a few of the questions we’ve received:
How do you grow cultured meat?
We feed the cells a mixture of protein, vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients. The cells grow and divide to form a collection of tissue that is ultimately cultured meat.
What will the meat look like?
One of the key differences between meat grown as an animal and meat grown via culturing is that, in the latter case, there is no bone present for cells to adhere to. In an animal, muscle cells anchor onto bone, which provides support and structure. Instead of our cultured meat looking like a chicken wing or steak, our meat has a closer resemblance to hamburger meat. Or, since we’re making pet food, it’s also reasonable to say that our cultured meat looks more similar to what you might already be used to finding inside a can of cat food.
When can I buy this exciting product?
We will send you updates along our path of development — we want you to be a part of this journey! We’ll be able to share a more accurate timeline in the months that follow, but as a starting point, please mark down on your calendar that Because Animals will be releasing a limited batch of cultured mouse cat treats in mid-to-late 2021!
We are as impatient as you are to get our cultured meat to market because doing so means easing our reliance on animal agriculture, which has never been more vitally important.
All of which is to say, this is why we are working harder than ever to bring cultured meat pet food, for cats and dogs, to the market. Stay tuned for regular updates from us.
And now we have a few questions for you! Are you excited about our cultured meat pet food?
Would you like to be added to our cultured meat newsletter list? By signing up we’ll occasionally ask for your feedback and ideas on marketing this groundbreaking new product. In return, we will make sure you are at the top of this list to buy our cultured meat treats as soon as they are available.
Sign up here!