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Crimson Crux

Pseudo-techblog where the Corsarius gets serious. Visit blog.corsarius.net for his alter ego.

Artificial Edible Meat, Anyone?

Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 11:30 PM
Image courtesy of Yellowicon.com
Actually, it's not artificial at all. At least, it uses a single cell from an animal to culture the meat!

This Gizmag article is old news, and I just wanted to post my thoughts on it, albeit belatedly. Large scale production of laboratory-grown "meat" -- beef, poultry, pork, and so on -- is a distinct possibility in the near future, a scientific paper has claimed. Certainly, this isn't lunacy; after all, small amounts of edible "meat" were laboratory-grown in NASA space experiments. They're now chasing after the technology which allows large-scale production. Read the article for the details. Better yet, read the Tissue Engineering paper itself.

If you'd ask me, I'm all for this venture. People will be apprehensive about eating something which popped out of the test tube (well, not exactly like that), and there will be both scientific and ethical concerns. But then, I believe trading in the slaughterhouses for meat culture factories is all for the good of the world.

Just ask the turkey above if he'd prefer to celebrate Thanksgiving alive or served on a plate. I'd really like to eat my sumptuous steak without my conscience nagging me, thank you. Cultured edible meat might just prove to be the savior for guilt-stricken people who love meat but don't have the willpower (or the stomach) to be vegans -- people like me.

"With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply," the article quotes a scientist. "Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat."

One amusing 'problem' with cultured meat is how to give the meat a natural, appetizing texture:
"The challenge is getting the texture right," says Matheny. "We have to figure out how to 'exercise' the muscle cells. For the right texture, you have to stretch the tissue, like a live animal would."

I wonder how they're going to do that. Anyway, you can support the technology by visiting the website of
New Harvest, a nonprofit research organization for the advancement of meat substitutes.

I tell you, once this technology hits full stride, abattoir and livestock farm owners will rise up in arms, but animal rights activists will spread their love among them and nullify their anxiety, all in the name of Gaia.

Or not.

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Blogger ia @ 1/02/2006 11:01 PM

I'm actually wondering why I'm not squirming in my seat at this prospect, knowing that pretty sure someone else is. I'm pretty sure, too, it has a lot to do with how the so much of the world is starving and this might as well be the way to go.

I mean, at least some race on the planet's grown intelligent enough to do this. Put aside the ego of man, and all his other faults - which will eventually become his downfall. This should be one of his greater moments.    



Blogger Corsarius @ 1/19/2006 12:00 AM

ia, hurrah for you! greater moments, indeed. when i told my dad about this technology, he naturally scoffed at the notion. ;)    



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