The world is in the midst of a food crisis as hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are on the rise. According to the United Nations report The State of Food and Nutrition in the World, up to 828 million people across the globe went hungry in 2021. This marks an increase of 150 million people since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The same report notes that 149 million children under the age of 5 had stunted growth and development due to a chronic lack of essential nutrients. Paradoxically, in a 2022 press release, the World Health Organization reported that more than a billion people worldwide are obese: 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents, and 39 million children. In wealthy, high-meat-consuming regions of the world, the prevalence of obesity is exploding amongst children and teens.
As the rate of food consumption grows, and particularly the demand for food protein (defined as the protein content within everyday food, and a vital component of human diets), the continued reliance on animals as a food source is increasingly unsustainable and environmentally harmful.
The Technion is leading the change toward sustainable food-protein sources, laying the groundwork for the creation and commercial production of cost-effective meat analogs. Using novel technologies, large quantities of meat can be cultivated from just a few isolated animal cells without killing a single animal.