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We tried the first lab-grown sausage made without killing animals. It was smoky, savory, and tasted like breakfast – Tech – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • Silicon Valley clean meat startup New Age Meats made history on Monday by letting journalists taste the first cultured pork sausage made in a lab.
  • New Age Meats’ sausage is the first cell-based meat to be made using both fat and muscle cells, which could prove key to nailing the flavor of traditional meat.
  • Here’s what the farm-free sausage was like.

On a Monday night at a brewery in San Francisco’s hipster Mission District, the co-founders of a startup called New Age Meats helped cook up samples of pork sausage made entirely out of cells grown from a live pig named Jessie.

As scientists-turned-entrepreneurs Brian Spears and Andra Necula watched, the sausage they’d spent the past two months making at a nearby lab began to sizzle. Slowly, its sides turned brown and, as the aroma of breakfast meat filled the room, samples were doled out to taste.

New Age Meats aims to make meat from animal cells without killing any actual animals. They are one of roughly half a dozen nascent companies aiming to create an alternative to factory farming. In so doing, they hope to reduce waste, improve health, and eliminate animal suffering.

New Age Meats’ sausage was the first in history to be made with fat and muscle cells — an important combination that could prove key for nailing the taste of “cell-based” or “cultured” (meaning simply: not from slaughter) meat. Here’s what it was like.

Around 5 PM on Monday evening, a group of journalists and potential investors gathered at Standard Deviant Brewery for a taste of the first pork sausage made in a lab from the cells of a live pig.


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Around 5 PM on Monday evening, a group of journalists and potential investors gathered at Standard Deviant Brewery for a taste of the first pork sausage made in a lab from the cells of a live pig.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

After filling up on vegan appetizers and snacks, New Age Meats co-founder Brian Spears told us what to expect. He also shared a photo of Jessie, whose cells — taken from a small biopsy on her side — went into the meat we’d be eating.


After filling up on vegan appetizers and snacks, New Age Meats co-founder Brian Spears told us what to expect. He also shared a photo of Jessie, whose cells — taken from a small biopsy on her side — went into the meat we'd be eating.play

After filling up on vegan appetizers and snacks, New Age Meats co-founder Brian Spears told us what to expect. He also shared a photo of Jessie, whose cells — taken from a small biopsy on her side — went into the meat we’d be eating.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

Spears and co-founder Andra Necula teamed up with Matt Murphy, a butcher and sausage chef, to get their recipe just right. Because the sausage casing they used was vegan, it was extra delicate — meaning Murphy had to be careful to avoid too much blistering, which could cause the links to break apart in the pan.


Spears and co-founder Andra Necula teamed up with Matt Murphy, a butcher and sausage chef, to get their recipe just right. Because the sausage casing they used was vegan, it was extra delicate — meaning Murphy had to be careful to avoid too much blistering, which could cause the links to break apart in the pan.play

Spears and co-founder Andra Necula teamed up with Matt Murphy, a butcher and sausage chef, to get their recipe just right. Because the sausage casing they used was vegan, it was extra delicate — meaning Murphy had to be careful to avoid too much blistering, which could cause the links to break apart in the pan.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

After about five minutes of cooking, the sausage was done. As the room filled with the aroma of breakfast meat, Murphy nudged the links onto a serving plate.


After about five minutes of cooking, the sausage was done. As the room filled with the aroma of breakfast meat, Murphy nudged the links onto a serving plate.play

After about five minutes of cooking, the sausage was done. As the room filled with the aroma of breakfast meat, Murphy nudged the links onto a serving plate.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

Necula and Murphy sliced the sausage into bite-sized pieces. In addition to pork fat and muscle from Jessie, the links contained spices like sage, ginger, and white pepper as well as vegetable stock and soy protein.


Necula and Murphy sliced the sausage into bite-sized pieces. In addition to pork fat and muscle from Jessie, the links contained spices like sage, ginger, and white pepper as well as vegetable stock and soy protein.play

Necula and Murphy sliced the sausage into bite-sized pieces. In addition to pork fat and muscle from Jessie, the links contained spices like sage, ginger, and white pepper as well as vegetable stock and soy protein.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

When I got my hands on my sample of sausage, I was ecstatic. This was the first meat made from a lab instead of on a factory farm that I’d ever tasted. After spearing it with my toothpick, I went in for a bite.


When I got my hands on my sample of sausage, I was ecstatic. This was the first meat made from a lab instead of on a factory farm that I'd ever tasted. After spearing it with my toothpick, I went in for a bite.play

When I got my hands on my sample of sausage, I was ecstatic. This was the first meat made from a lab instead of on a factory farm that I’d ever tasted. After spearing it with my toothpick, I went in for a bite.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

The flavor was smoky and savory. The texture was distinctly sausage-like. It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat.


The flavor was smoky and savory. The texture was distinctly sausage-like. It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat.play

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The flavor was smoky and savory. The texture was distinctly sausage-like. It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

As we ate, Spears explained that all the material for the meat came from a single biopsy from Jessie. Spears and Necula coaxed the tiny cell sample into developing billions of fat and muscle cells in the lab, giving rise to the key ingredients in the sausage.


As we ate, Spears explained that all the material for the meat came from a single biopsy from Jessie. Spears and Necula coaxed the tiny cell sample into developing billions of fat and muscle cells in the lab, giving rise to the key ingredients in the sausage.play

As we ate, Spears explained that all the material for the meat came from a single biopsy from Jessie. Spears and Necula coaxed the tiny cell sample into developing billions of fat and muscle cells in the lab, giving rise to the key ingredients in the sausage.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

A chemical engineer by training, Spears said he chose to host the tasting at a brewery because these types of facilities — with their sleek silver brewer’s vats — are the same kind of places where the meat of the future will be produced.


A chemical engineer by training, Spears said he chose to host the tasting at a brewery because these types of facilities — with their sleek silver brewer's vats — are the same kind of places where the meat of the future will be produced.play

A chemical engineer by training, Spears said he chose to host the tasting at a brewery because these types of facilities — with their sleek silver brewer’s vats — are the same kind of places where the meat of the future will be produced.

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

Until that day arrives, New Age Meats faces several obstacles in turning its prototype sausages into a product that could be sold in restaurants. Cost is the first.


Dutch scientist Mark Post became the first person in the world to make a beef burger from cow cells in 2013. The patty cost $330,000 to produce.play

Dutch scientist Mark Post became the first person in the world to make a beef burger from cow cells in 2013. The patty cost $330,000 to produce.

(REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Getting to a price consumers would be willing to pay at a restaurant is still at least five to 10 years away, according to several CEOs of the leading cultured meat companies.


Getting to a price consumers would be willing to pay at a restaurant is still at least five to 10 years away, according to several CEOs of the leading cultured meat companies.play

Getting to a price consumers would be willing to pay at a restaurant is still at least five to 10 years away, according to several CEOs of the leading cultured meat companies.

(Flickr/Christopher Craig)

Another issue is texture. Making a sausage, patty, fish cake, or any other product that combines several ingredients with ground meat is nowhere near as difficult as mimicking the intricate texture and flavor of a steak or a chicken breast. “Wagyu beef” — with its complex marbling and texture — “would be the holy grail,” said Spears.


Another issue is texture. Making a sausage, patty, fish cake, or any other product that combines several ingredients with ground meat is nowhere near as difficult as mimicking the intricate texture and flavor of a steak or a chicken breast. play

Another issue is texture. Making a sausage, patty, fish cake, or any other product that combines several ingredients with ground meat is nowhere near as difficult as mimicking the intricate texture and flavor of a steak or a chicken breast. “Wagyu beef” — with its complex marbling and texture — “would be the holy grail,” said Spears.

(hlphoto/Shutterstock)

Necula said she and Spears planned to continue working on products in the sausage realm, but they’re exploring options that include products made with beef and crab too. “We think we’ll be ready to go to market in a couple years,” Spears said.


Necula said she and Spears planned to continue working on products in the sausage realm, but they're exploring options that include products made with beef and crab too. play

Necula said she and Spears planned to continue working on products in the sausage realm, but they’re exploring options that include products made with beef and crab too. “We think we’ll be ready to go to market in a couple years,” Spears said.

(Courtesy of New Age Meats)



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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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