This commentary is a reflection on cultured meat and, more generally, food innovation, articulated from the perspective of political ecology (for a proposal around the ‘political ecology of food’ see ). This approach allows to critically investigate the status and role of novel foods in the context of the ecologic crisis, highlighting the complex entanglements of power, labour and value that subtend processes of food innovation and shape imaginaries of future food systems, as well as pathways of sustainability. As such, political ecology also calls for a reflection on food politics at large, envisioning transformative practices that question current arrangements of gender, class, race, species. In its unwillingness to ‘solve’ or close down the vast problem of food innovation, political ecology highlights ambiguities, risks, but also opportunities, as tools to guide a radical political imagination around food in the context of the contemporary ecological crisis. This stands in contrast with the polarising and partial way in which cultured meat tends to be represented in present public debates. The Italian ‘ban’ on cultured meat that is likely to be introduced is particularly interesting and it will serve as a starting point for this commentary.