Lab-Grown Food Startup Will Soon Serve Lion, Tiger and Elephant Meat

Food technology company Primeval Foods plans to launch an entire menagerie of exotic meats that didn’t actually come from animals, including lion burgers, tiger nuggets or giraffe ham.

As the meat-alternatives market becomes increasingly competitive, food tech companies are coming up with new and ingenious ways of making their products stand out. Primeval Foods, a London-based startup specializing in cellular agriculture, plans to start selling exotic meats cultivated in a laboratory. And we’re not talking expensive and hard-to-come-by beef either, but the types of meat most people never even imagined were edible, like lion or tiger meat.

No animals are actually hurt in the process of growing these exotic meats in a laboratory, as they are actually grown from cultured cells, but the simple idea of consuming lion or tiger is just weird, if not downright offputting for a lot of people. That’s because they’re not the kind of meat we’re used to eating, but Primeval Foods considers this an opportunity worth investing in.

“The reason we consume traditional species like beef and chicken today is not they are the tastiest, healthiest, or most nutritious ones. It’s because they are the easiest to domesticate. Since cultivated meat allows to go beyond domesticated species,, now we can explore the tastiest, healthiest and most nutritious options,” Yilmaz Bora, Managing Partner at Ace Ventures (the company behind Primeval Foods) told Food Navigator.

“Cultivated exotic meat consumption might lead humanity to a new evolution for our brain and gut microbiome because of the unique protein and amino acid profile, without the downside, such as cholesterol and saturated fats,” Bora added. “We are envisioning a future where we consume cultivated jaguar meat to have better sleep and mood, or cultivated elephant meat to improve our cognitive performance. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Primeval is also betting on the fact that most people are always eager to try and experiment with new things, including new culinary experiences. And even though some of the meats on its menus might sound a bit weird at first, since they don’t come at the expense of nature, people might be willing to at least try it.

So how is the food-tech startup getting the cells it needs to grow its own exotic meats. Well, it sourced some of them from captive animals, like the big cats, and some come from exotic meat markets.

“In the coming months, we are planning to have a tasting event in London with one of our cultivated exotic meats, to give the world a taste of what the next chapter of food would look like,” Yilmaz Bora said.