From barley to meat
Barley is one of civilization's oldest crops, however ORF Genetics is exploring new and innovative uses for barley grains in its vast greenhouse in Iceland. Seeds from genetically modified barley plants are being used in a process which creates lab-grown meat. A protein in the seeds, called a growth factor, is harvested, milled and purified before it can be used. While the first growth factors came from animals, ORF's hope is that this barley plant method will be cheaper and scalable. In neatly organized rows, ORF grows 130,000 barley plants year-round using hydroponic cultivation in volcanic pumice instead of topsoil to minimize the risk of any contamination. From an environmental standpoint, ORF's foray into cell-cultured meat stands to make a significant impact. As global populations rise, the demand for diets rich in protein increases exponentially while viable farmland does not.