We are Future Fields, a group of Canadian innovators working to expand the reach of cellular agriculture into accessible consumer products.
To this end, we are currently focused on developing a cheap and effective serum-free growth media for producing cultured meat.
Decentralized supply chains.
Sustainable protein production.
...same ol' food
What is cellular agriculture?
Cellular agriculture is the process of utilizing cells or microorganisms to create agriculture products, such as milk or meat. It is an interdisciplinary field utilizing breakthroughs in genetics, tissue engineering, synthetic biology, and medicine. Applying the principles of biology, scientists can engineer cells to create new products that are indistinguishable from traditional agriculture products – all without the use of animals, livestock, or farmland.
How is it made?
In the case of cultured meat: muscle tissue is created using small cell samples from animals such as cows, pigs, or chickens. A tiny muscle biopsy (approximately the size of a pinhead) is taken. This routine procedure can be done under local anaesthetic, so that the animal does not feel any discomfort. From this single sample, stem cells can be isolated and grown in a special environment. These cells replicate and replenish themselves to be used again and again. When cultured under the appropriate conditions, these stem cells can be induced to form muscle cells, called myocytes. Myocytes can adhere to a 3-dimensional scaffold, allowing them to form a 3-dimensional structure. These myocytes can then be “exercised” causing them to fuse and grow, just as the muscles in your body grow when you exercise them. This can be done through electrical or mechanical stimulation and continues until the desired amount of tissue is available to be harvested. This process takes place inside a bioreactor, an instrument that's similar to a beer-brewing tank.
While protein synthesis is the current focus of most companies worldwide, there are many more factors to consider as part of an effort to increase consumer acceptance and reap the environmental and social benefits of cellular agriculture. Ultimately, without wide scale acceptance of this new technology, cellular agriculture will have little impact on a global level. Complementary research in areas such as manufacturing, transportation, and societal concerns, is integral to support biological and technological advancements in the field.