Skip to main content
Move the World.
vegan steak

Lead image courtesy of Redefine Meat

Israeli startup Redefine Meat has announced the creation of the Alt-Steak, a plant-based steak that it claims mimics the texture, flavor, and look of a traditional steak.

The key to the company's achievement is the use of 3D printing, CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told Reuters. That technology allows the company to layer its plant-based muscle, fat, and blood formulations in a way that replicates the structure of a real steak.

Redefine Meat plans to conduct market testing on its Alt-Steak at high-end restaurants in Europe this year, incorporating feedback into its product. It then aims to make its industrial 3D printers and ingredient formulations available to meat distributors in 2021.

Those printers will initially be able to produce approximately 44 pounds of Alt-Steak per hour, Ben-Shitrit said. He expects that figure to increase to hundreds of pounds per hour over time and the price to drop to less than that of traditional steaks.

The Future of Plant-Based Meat

Ben-Shitrit isn't the only person optimistic about the future of plant-based meat.

The transformation from animals to plant-based products is inevitable.

Patrick Brown

In June, Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, told Yahoo Finance he "absolutely" believes his company's plant-based meats will one day be cheaper than the kinds that come from animals.

Earlier that month, Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown told CNBC that his plant-based meat company's products beat out animal proteins from a nutritional standpoint.

"This is why I think people are increasingly aware plant-based products are going to completely replace the animal-based products in the food world within the next 15 years," he said. "That's our mission. That transformation is inevitable."

Can the Alt-Steak Replace the Real Thing?

Clearly, it's in these men's best interests to champion fake meat — it's their livelihood, after all.

However, the plant-based meat market is undeniably growing, and research does suggest that the trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Still, all of this adding up to the end of the meat industry as we know it might be a stretch.

For one, as Michael Siegrist, a professor at ETH Zurich's Institute for Environmental Decisions, recently told the New York Times, the consumption of traditional meat is actually increasing globally.

And even if plant-based meat is healthier, cheaper, and better for the environment (as some studies suggest), there are going to be people who will always opt for a traditional cut of beef over Redefine Meat's Alt-Steak — the desire to eat meat is simply ingrained in humans, according to science journalist Marta Zaraska, who penned an entire book on the subject.

"There are reasons rooted in our genetics — some of us actually have genes that make us more likely to eat a lot of meat — as well as in our culture, in history, in our psychology, in the way our minds operate, in marketing of the meat industry," she told The Globe and Mail in 2016. "So many different ways meat keeps us hooked."

We'd love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at [email protected].

Up Next

Science
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
Science
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
From advanced plant-based meat alternatives to real meat grown in a lab, the days of eating meat from once-living...
By Mike Riggs

From advanced plant-based meat alternatives to real meat grown in a lab, the days of eating meat from once-living animals could be numbered.

Future of Food
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Future of Food
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.

Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.

Future of Food
What’s Not to Love About Lab Grown Meat?
Inside the World of Gourmet Lab Meat
Watch Now
Future of Food
What’s Not to Love About Lab Grown Meat?
A future of eating meat without ethical or environmental implications is more real than ever before. But will people eat it food grown in a lab?
Watch Now

A future of eating meat without ethical or environmental implications is more real than ever before. While plant-based alternatives are growing in popularity, the real black horse with game-changing potential seems to be actual meat… grown in science labs. The question at this point is not whether this approach is viable or scalable, but simply: will people want to eat it?

Growing Food with Seawater
Growing Food with Seawater
Watch Now
Growing Food with Seawater
This designer invented a greenhouse that lets you grow food with seawater.
Watch Now

Water is in short supply in much of the world — but what if we use seawater? It’s been a dream for years, but now technology is making it possible. This new seawater greenhouse uses a clever cardboard design to distill fresh water from salt water cheaply and efficiently. It’s helping grow crops in Somaliland, and could help stop the water crisis in Africa and other parts of the world that are susceptible to drought. The...

Future of Food
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
Future of Food
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
In a new Freethink original series, Michael O'Shea goes around the world to introduce us to the scientists who are working hard to ensure that we can feed our future world.

There are currently over 7 billion human beings alive on Earth --- and in 2050 the world's population will rise by almost 2 billion. That's a lot more mouths to feed considering that roughly 11 percent of the world goes hungry today. "in the next 40 years, we need to produce the same amount of food as we did over the last 8,000 years." Ernst van den...

Dispatches
Supercharging Photosynthesis Can Grow 40% More Food
Supercharging Photosynthesis Can Grow 40% More Food
Dispatches
Supercharging Photosynthesis Can Grow 40% More Food
We need a lot more calories to feed a growing world, and these scientists may have figured out how to get them.
By Amanda Cavanagh

We need a lot more calories to feed a growing world, and these scientists may have figured out how to get them.

Catalysts
This Woman is On a Mission to Turn Beer into Food
This Woman is On a Mission to Turn Beer into Food
Catalysts
This Woman is On a Mission to Turn Beer into Food
Jacquie Berglund is using the profits from her beer company to buy organic produce from local farmers and distribute the produce to food banks in the area.

Jacquie Berglund considers herself more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker, yet she is building an empire around the beer brand, Finnegans. When Berglund purchased the brand for only a dollar, she knew that if Finnegans were to make an impact, the beer needed to be in every pub in Minnesota. Now you can find Finnegans in four Midwest states. But Finnegans is more than a beer company. From combating food insecurity to...

The Student Laboratory Reinventing Food To Stop Waste
The Student Laboratory Reinventing Food To Stop Waste
Watch Now
The Student Laboratory Reinventing Food To Stop Waste
Inside the food laboratory inventing new foods to prevent waste.
Watch Now

As much as 40% of American food goes to waste — and much of that comes from companies. The food lab at Drexel University is helping companies “upcycle” unsold products into new ones and find ways to turn scraps or byproducts into great foods people want to buy. Students work with customers and products to create new ideas and products that the companies can produce with food that would otherwise go to waste. It helps give...