Cultivated meat company Aleph Farms announces that Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi David Baruch Lau, has ruled its cultivated steak to be kosher, meaning it is permitted for consumption by Jews under religious law.
According to the food tech, this is the first time such an authority in Judaism has decided on cultivated meat.
Aleph Farms, which focuses on growing steaks directly from non-genetically engineered animal cells, says it is still working with local rabbinic authorities to receive kosher certification for its Rehovot-based production facility.
Intersection of tradition and innovation
Didier Toubia, Aleph Farms’ Co-Founder and CEO, said: “This ruling is meaningful not only for Aleph Farms as a company but also for the entire cultivated meat industry. It sets a foundation for an inclusive public discourse about the intersection of tradition and innovation in our society.”
After this ruling, the company expects that other local authorities will confirm Aleph Farms’ cultivated steaks as kosher, enabling Jewish people who observe kashrut to consume cultivated meat steaks.
The global kosher beef market
As described by Aleph Farms, the growing preference for kosher beef in key countries such as the US, France, and Israel, which have the highest Jewish populations and account for over 86% of the global Jewish population, is driving the market. The global kosher beef market is expected to reach approximately $100.85 billion by 2030.
According to the cultivated meat company, in 2021, approximately 73.9% of Israel’s population was Jewish, making it key for Aleph Farms to receive a kosher certificate ahead of its market launch later this year.
Seeking out Halal and Hindu certifications
Aleph Farms stated that the company is seeking out Halal and Hindu certifications for its products to be inclusive and viable options for different religious practices.
Aleph Farms is working closely with regulatory agencies worldwide as it prepares for the commercial launch of its first product, the cultivated thin-cut beef steak. It also plans to produce different cuts of steak and cultivated collagen, develop through additional proprietary capabilities.
“We’re excited that more groups of diners can enjoy our products regardless of their religion, helping us advance our inclusive vision for food security and tap into different food cultures around the world,” Toubia added.