Globally, humanity consumes almost 350 million tons of meat a year. In the next 10 years, this number is expected to increase by a significant percentage. Scientists believe that in vitro meat could become a sustainable and animal friendly solution to produce meat. Grown in a lab, this meat is identical to meat products you can normally find in a grocery store. Unfortunately, the process to produce meat in vitro is still costly. It will take research, development, and investment to mass-produce meat in vitro. However, there is one famous philanthropist that we are able to count on to work toward sustainable meat production; Leonardo DiCaprio.

As a long-time environmental activist with a foundation established in 1998 for increasing environmental awareness, DiCaprio expanded his interests and investments into the field of in-vitro meat this past week. These new investments were directed toward the Netherlands-based Mosa Meats, creator of the first lab grown hamburger in 2013, and Isreal-based Aleph Farms, who cultivated the first in-vitro steak in 2018 as well as an in-vitro ribeye in 2021. Both companies announced this development in a joint press release on the 22nd of September. Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meats said that “Leonardo DiCaprio’s work to bring about positive change is closely aligned with our mission at Mosa Meat. We are thrilled to bring him on board as advisor and investor and work together to feed current and future generations sustainably.”  CEO of Aleph Farms Didier Toubia also echoed these sentiments, foreshadowing a bright future for in vitro meat production.  

For the climate conscious celebrity, the investment into in-vitro meat is a continuation of his previous activism and promotion of environmentally minded solutions. Previous iterations of his work raising awareness of climate change include two short documentaries on youtube [1][2], projects in over 40 countries, and as a representative in the UN regarding climate change issues. About his latest venture, Dicaprio says that “One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system. Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms offer new ways to satisfy the world’s demand for beef, while solving some of the most pressing issues of current industrial beef production.” An independent study has shown that lab grown meat has the capability to greatly reduce the consumption of environmental resources and reduce climate change impacts. Traditional meat production requires vast amounts of environmental resources such as land, water, food, as well as negatively impacting the atmosphere through the production of greenhouse gases. 

Thanks Leo, for your contribution to a more sustainable future.

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