Mammoth Meatball: Meatball made from cultured mammoth meat unveiled in Amsterdam
A massive meatball made from cultured mammoth meat was unveiled at the Science Museum Nemo in Amsterdam on Tuesday. The makers want to show that eating meat is possible without the climate impact and animal suffering inherent in livestock farming.
The mammoth meatball was made by Australian cultured meat company Vow and a team of international experts using the DNA of the extinct woolly mammoth with DNA fragments from African elephants, the woolly mammoth’s closest living relative. They deliberately chose a mammoth because it is a symbol of an animal that went extinct due to overhunting and a changing climate.
The woolly mammoth is back! 🦣— Wunderman Thompson (@WunThompson) March 28, 2023
This striking statement from Vow & WT aims to start a conversation about how we produce and consume food, & demonstrate the potential of cultured meat to revolutionise the food industry.
.#MammothMeatball #Vow pic.twitter.com/R49UYXOoaE
Various countries are working on cultured meat - lab-grown meat using animal cells - and it is already on the market in Israel and Singapore. But meat grown from an extinct mammoth is a world first, according to the company.
“The mammoth is now a beacon of hope,” Vow co-founder Tim Noakesmith said at the unveiling, AD reports. He described himself as a “failed vegan.” He really tried to give up meat due to the animal suffering and climate impact caused by its production, but found it extremely difficult. And he expects that many other people face the same challenge. “So we have to give people the opportunity to be selfish.” Vow wants to do that by making meat that tastes just as good as from a cow on the pasture but without the negative climate and environmental impact.
Unlike most cultured meat companies, Vow didn’t focus on animals already common to people’s diets. The company was immediately enthusiastic when Dutch advertising executive Bas Korsten of Wunderman Thompson approached Vow with the idea of using woolly mammoth DNA. “If it can be done from any animal, why would you choose beef, chicken, or pig?” Noakesmith said.
The mammoth meatball can’t be tasted yet. Research first has to prove that 5,000-year-old protein is okay for human consumption. But Vow researchers describe the smell of the cooking meatball as “very special.”