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Omeat Unveils Pioneering Approach to Cultivated Meat, to Reduce Costs and Meet Global Protein Demand


Omeat, a groundbreaking player in the cultivated meat industry, has made its official entry, introducing an innovative method that addresses input costs and can be scaled to meet the world's growing appetite for animal protein sustainably. With a focus on reducing the most significant cost driver of cultivated meat, Omeat has developed a process that utilizes regenerative factors extracted humanely from live, healthy cows to create growth media. This pioneering approach has the potential to cultivate various types of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and fish, in a cost-effective manner.


Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Omeat, is a renowned tissue engineer with a global reputation. Recognizing the challenges associated with traditional animal agriculture practices, Khademhosseini shifted his focus from growing human tissues for medical applications to developing a scalable method for cultivated meat production.


"The conventional approach to meat production has significant detrimental effects on the environment, public health, and animal welfare. We saw an opportunity to leverage our expertise to discover a scalable way to grow cultivated meat," explained Khademhosseini. "The approach we have uncovered and are currently scaling is a simple and elegant solution that taps into the natural biology of animals, allowing nature to do its work. The result is real meat that is pure, delicious, and capable of meeting the increasing global demand for meat in a sustainable and humane manner."


Omeat sources its growth media from a herd of freely grazing cows on its California farm. The farm is designed with the ambitious goal of becoming carbon negative and already incorporates a range of regenerative practices for soil health. These practices include no tilling, cover crop planting, rotational grazing, and natural fertilization by Omeat's free-roaming herd. The farm is populated with thick natural grasses chosen to optimize the herd's nutrition. Furthermore, the farm has the capacity to hold approximately 30,000 gallons of rainwater per acre, significantly minimizing runoff and the need for additional watering.


In addition to having a dedicated veterinarian, Omeat has collaborated with Dr. Kristina Horback, a leading animal-welfare scientist from UC Davis, to design its farm and animal care approach. This collaboration has involved the development of processes for collecting plasma, the nutrient fluid that serves as the source of Omeat's proprietary growth media. Omeat's collection practices utilize positive reinforcement and prioritize the holistic well-being of the animals. Plasma collection occurs weekly and mirrors the process of humans donating plasma. Importantly, as plasma regenerates quickly, it does not deplete the animal.


Khademhosseini highlights a key advantage of Omeat's approach, stating, "With just one cow providing plasma weekly, we can produce the equivalent of many cows' worth of meat annually. This means we can feed the planet while significantly reducing the number of animals used in beef production. We consider ourselves a meat company, and our goal is to serve as a bridge to the future of the meat industry. We are perfecting a sustainable operation that existing farms and ranches can adopt, generating the same volume of product with significantly lower overhead costs. It's a far more efficient approach, and we don't have to sacrifice the well-being of the cow."


Omeat chose to focus on beef due to its alignment with the company's vision for positive impact and consumer accessibility in the near term. Beef production carries the largest global land and water footprint within the meat segment and imposes a significant burden on the environment and climate. Furthermore, consumer research conducted by the Good Food Institute revealed that ground beef was the cultivated meat segment with the highest level of consumer interest.


In 2022, Omeat successfully raised an oversubscribed $40 million in a Series A funding round. The roster of backers includes renowned venture capital firms such as S2G Ventures, Google Ventures (GV), Bold Capital Partners, Tyson Ventures (the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, Inc.), Rethink Food, Trailhead Capital, and Cavallo Ventures. The company is currently constructing a pilot plant and rapidly expanding its team to ensure commercial readiness. Simultaneously, Omeat is engaging in direct discussions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to secure regulatory approval for its groundbreaking technology.


With its revolutionary approach and strong backing from leading investors, Omeat is poised to revolutionize the cultivated meat industry. By reducing costs and employing sustainable practices, the company aims to transform the way meat is produced, offering a viable and humane solution to meet the world's protein needs while addressing the environmental and ethical concerns associated with traditional animal agriculture.

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