Timeline of cellular agriculture

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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]


Year Event
1912 French 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]
1971 Russell Ross achieves the in vitro cultivation of muscular fibers.[4]
1995 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of commercial in-vitro meat production.[5]
1999 Willem van Eelen secures the first patent for cultured meat.[2]
2001 NASA begins in vitro meat experiments, producing cultured turkey meat.[6][7]
2002 Researchers 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]
2004 Jason Matheny founds New Harvest, the first non-profit to work for the development of cultured meat.[3]
2005 Dutch government agency SenterNovem begins funding cultured meat research.[9]
2005 The first peer-reviewed journal article on lab-grown meat appears in Tissue Engineering.[10]
2008 The 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]
2011 The company Modern Meadow, aimed at producing cultured leather and meat, is founded.[12]
2013 The first cultured hamburger, developed by Dutch researcher Mark Post's lab, is taste-tested.[13]
2014 Muufri and Clara Foods, companies aimed at producing cultured dairy and eggs, respectively, are founded with the assistance of New Harvest.[14][15]
2014 Real 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]
2015 The 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]
2015 According to Mark Post's lab, the cost of producing a cultured hamburger patty drops from $325,000 in 2013 to less than $12.[19]
2016 New 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 Foods, 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 bestseller list.[25]
2019 Perfect Day (formerly Muufri) sells 1000 3-pint bundles of ice cream made with non-animal whey protein.[26]
2020 Memphis 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]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cellular agriculture for a brighter future". The Animalist. March 22, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d 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. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b 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. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  12. ^ a b 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.