Cult Food seeks to empower food-tech companies creating clean, lab-grown food
By Nithya CalebFood Trends Specialty Foods Cult Food Science cultivated meat Cultured dairy Editor pick Lab-grown food
Cult Food Science Corp. is an investment platform with an exclusive focus on clean, lab-grown food. It is interested in funding cultivated meat and cultured dairy companies that advance the “development of novel technologies to provide a sustainable, environmental and ethical solution to the global factory farming crisis.”
I interviewed Dr Ian Smith, chair of the scientific advisory board at Cult Food Science, about the company’s mission and portfolio. Dr Smith is a cell biologist and scientist with 20 years of experience in lab-based research and project management. He has extensive knowledge in the scientific and technical due diligence of alternative protein industry startups for investors and has technical expertise in 3D cell culture and scaffolding technologies, imaging modalities, stem cells, primary isolated cultures and experimental design.
What’s Cult Food Science’s mission?
IS: Cult Food Science has two main goals. First and foremost, our goal is to advance the future of food through the development of novel cell-based technologies to provide a sustainable, environmental and ethical solution to the global factory farming and aquaculture crises.
As a soon-to-be publicly traded company, Cult is focused on democratizing access to this exciting and rapidly evolving technology, making it possible for average investors to gain diverse exposure to the cell-based food sector, which previously was only accessible to billionaires and private funds.
What do you look for in potential investment companies?
IS: When evaluating potential investment companies, we look for strong technical founders, a clear company strategy and ways to further diversify our portfolio on a geographic, end-product type and technology basis.
Who are your portfolio brands?
IS: We have been very active adding new companies and brands to the Cult platform, and our portfolio continues to grow. For an up-to-date and in-depth list of our portfolio companies, please visit https://www.cultfoodscience.com/#portfolio.
To date, we have officially announced investment in Mogale Meat, Novel Farms, BifTek, Eat JUST (GOOD Meat), MeliBio, Cell Ag Tech, Ohayo Valley and 3D Biotissues.
What’s the market potential of lab-grown food?
IS: A 2021 McKinsey research report estimated that cultivated meat alone (not including dairy products) could supply up to 0.5 per cent of the global meat market by 2030, representing a $25-billion market that is just scratching the surface of what is possible for this space.
What role does lab-grown food play in the world’s fight against climate change?
IS: The environmental and sustainable benefits of disrupting traditional agriculture with lab-grown food have been well documented. Independent researchers have determined that 18 per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture. Additionally, animal agriculture has been shown to be responsible for over 55 per cent of water usage in the US.
With meat consumption expected to grow by 50 per cent by 2040, it is clear that these antiquated and inefficient systems will not be able to scale to meet growing demand, and that better solutions will be required.
Do you think consumers are ready to taste cultured meat?
IS: Yes, consumers are ready for lab-grown meat. This is not a question of having consumers change their habits, but a matter of simply finding a better, more sustainable and kinder way to include high quality protein sources on their plate.
What are your future plans?
IS: As a soon-to-be publicly traded company we can’t divulge too much about our plans ahead of official public announcements, but what we can say is that our team is very focused on continuing to find new, exciting investment opportunities, as well as supporting research initiatives and collaborations and bringing more mainstream awareness to lab-grown food as a whole.
If a company wants to make a pitch, what should they do?
IS: Great question. Our team is always interested in connecting with companies and researchers in the lab-grown food space. The best way to get in touch is by sending an introductory e-mail to email@example.com.
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