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Biotech Earth Science

Scientists Create Artificial Meat 820

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the mmmmm-soggy-pork dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have created the first artificial meat by extracting cells from the muscle of a live pig and putting them in a broth of other animal products where the cells then multiplied to create muscle tissue. Described as soggy pork, researchers believe that it can be turned into something like steak if they can find a way to 'exercise' the muscle and while no one has yet tasted the artificial meat, researchers believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat in as little as five years' time. '"What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue. We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there," says Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University. "You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals." Animal rights group Peta has welcomed the laboratory-grown meat, announcing that "as far as we're concerned, if meat is no longer a piece of a dead animal there's no ethical objection while the Vegetarian Society remained skeptical. "The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered. It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust.""
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Scientists Create Artificial Meat

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  • by PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:46PM (#30275242)
    The scientist raise a valid issue. This meat is from a artificial "muscle" that has never received any kind of exercise or strengthened itself. That is why it's not as steak, but I think it also affects taste of the meat too.

    As a man who has run several pizzerias during my lenghty life, and as a man who respects a good steak, good bacon and good ham on a large pizza, I'm scared that this will replace the real meat at some point. This gives a stupid reason for Peta and other hippies to try to ban 'real' meat and put everybody to eat artificially produced meat.

    Say goodbye to bacon pizzas, tasty and meaty hamburgers, hot dogs, a good grilled steak with french fries and most importantly, delicious food.
  • by thewiz (24994) * on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:50PM (#30275304)

    "The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered. It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust."

    Simple: Add a gene that would make the artificial meat a recognizable color.

    Instead of green eggs and ham we'll have green ham and eggs!

  • Cheers for PETA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:50PM (#30275306)

    For once, they make a rational and decent statement! This is a big improvement over their stupid tirade about Obama swatting a housefly.

    The Vegetarian Society, OTOH, with their statement shows themselves to be still a bunch of extremists.

  • by Joe Snipe (224958) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:52PM (#30275332) Homepage Journal

    The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered.

    I'm sure that the "artificial" meat will cost a third of traditional meats.

  • by danaris (525051) <danaris&mac,com> on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:52PM (#30275340) Homepage

    If done correctly, and without horrible hidden side effects of some sort, this could be huge. Removing the need to have an actual cow born, raised, fed, and kept in order to be able to make hamburger would remove a tremendous amount of damage to the environment, as well as opening up a lot of land to be available for use growing food for humans, rather than growing food for animals or being pasturage for animals.

    I'd try and list all the different effects it could have, but I think I'd have to go on for pages...and besides, I'm sure someone else will have done it by the time I post ;-)

    Dan Aris

  • by mgvrolijk (215830) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:52PM (#30275352)

    Is it green by any chance?

  • Re:Soggy Meat? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bugnuts (94678) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:58PM (#30275450) Journal

    Ignoring the obvious innuendos... that leads to another interesting question:

    If it was made from grown human cells, is eating it cannibalism?

    What if it was grown from your own cells? I know I've consumed plenty of my own cells (don't go there, get your mind out of the gutter), but what if I grew myself some delicious Bugnuts Soggy Meat(tm)?

  • Re:PETA likes it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sajuuk (1371145) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:58PM (#30275470)
    Agreed, we must keep the farm animal population down before they rise up and kill us all like in Animal Farm.
  • by joggle (594025) on Monday November 30, 2009 @05:58PM (#30275472) Homepage Journal

    PETA could demand it but how would that be any different than today?

    I think the only way real meat would disappear is if it's the result of the market. If artificial meat could be produced more cheaply than natural meat then you should start to worry, especially if the quality is somewhat inferior but not so inferior that people don't buy it.

    However, I think there will always be a market for natural meat. There's already plenty of proof that people are willing to pay more for grocery products viewed as superior in some way (Whole Foods for example).

  • Backfire on PETA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:00PM (#30275510)
    This Artifical Meat is going to backfire on PETA. If, in 5-10 years, this Artificial Meat market becomes big enough to surpass traditional meat harvesting techniques, what does PETA think will happen to all that cattle and other like animals? What are we just going to give them up and let them live free? No, we'll slaughter the livestock we have as we transition to the new method. Then, we expand over the previous land we used to graze and keep the animals; replacing (more or less) open land with whatever vats, structures, and buildings we need to develope SyntheSteak. Domesticated populations will plummet and wild populations will be no better off, the net result will be fewer animals in the world (but more meat!)

    Don't read too much into this yammering post; I'm all for this idea.

    I simply wonder why PETA still thinks being stuck in the farm is worse than what we've (historically) done to animals that don't serve as useful a purpose. If the cow or pig isn't being used, I would expect us to (intentionally or not) create conditions in their environment which pushes them out and dwindles their population, not unlike we've done to wolves or such.
  • by coolmoose25 (1057210) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:01PM (#30275518)
    From the article...

    "The cells were then incubated in a solution containing nutrients to encourage them to multiply indefinitely. This nutritious “broth” is derived from the blood products of animal foetuses, although the intention is to come up with a synthetic solution.

    So lets see... leaving aside for the moment blood borne illness issues, right now we'd have to grow the "artificial" meat using animal fetus blood... and where will we get all that animal fetus blood? Perhaps we can just raise animal fetuses? And how will the "synthetic" solution be made? From "synthetic" fetuses? Turtles all the way down, I think.

  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:01PM (#30275520)

    It's not PETA or some vegetarian group that would cause the dominance of faux meat, it's simple quality and economy. If faux meat tastes good and is cheaper to produce, THEN it's time to say goodbye to real meat. If not, your exemplary diet and admirable lust for the blood of animals have nothing to fear from this development.

    Now, I'm going to go home and apply heat, butter, and spices to part of the delicious carcass of a recently deceased animal, which I will then consume without regard to it's ethical implications or environmental consequences. Mmmmm. Maybe I'll complement it with a nice, leafy salad.

  • by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@noSpaM.gmail.com> on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:01PM (#30275528) Homepage Journal
    This kind of meet adds a whole new sub category for picky eaters to separate into. Those who eat meat from animals and those who eat meat from a factory lab.

    For those of us who already eat anything, this only matters if the production technique produces a slab of meat that tastes as good and costs less than the old fashioned method: Feeding a real pig on everything from corn and table scraps to bits of other pigs, then chopping his head off when he gets fat enough.

    BTW: They might have to get some nerve tissue into this lab meat before it can be exercised with electrical pulses (And yes. That dose sound like the best idea so far). Hmm... I wonder if I qualify for the job of "Experimental R&D Chef"

    BTW: If this proves viable, expect the patent to be bought by someone who will fight/bribe tooth and nail to have "Animal Slavery" outlawed, or to protect us from the dangers of our pork addiction.

    If you don't think that plausible consider what happened to hemp after nylon became viable.
  • by vertinox (846076) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:04PM (#30275578)

    Say goodbye to bacon pizzas, tasty and meaty hamburgers, hot dogs, a good grilled steak with french fries and most importantly, delicious food.

    No. It means 'real beef' made from free range cows will be bought at specialty stores for top dollar rather than this mass produced anti-biotic, hormoned, rotten grain fed crap they try to pass off as 'beef' now.

    Seriously... Have you ever bought and ate a real steak. No... Not the kind you buy at Western Corral, but the NY cut or Filet mignon aged beef marinated over 24 hours cooked by a professional with the right blend of herbs spices that melts in your mouth usually costing you over 30-40 or even $100 per plate (depending on where you go) combined with a matched set of alcohol. Mmmm... I'm getting hungry....

    Anyways... I really doubt you're going to be able to tell the difference between the current stock meat that goes into hotdogs and McDonald's burgers and the vat grown they are talking about.

    Now... I need that filet mignon.

  • by lysdexia (897) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:07PM (#30275618) Homepage
    Monoculturing any living tissue will require antibiotics of some sort. I really doubt that one can have a 100% clean factory environment for these, unless you have robots and robots to fix the robots ad-infinitum.
  • by Hope Thelps (322083) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:13PM (#30275722)

    This kind of meet adds a whole new sub category for picky eaters to separate into. Those who eat meat from animals and those who eat meat from a factory lab.

    I'm firmly in the dead-animals-only camp, not just for reasons of taste but of personal ethics. If people stop eating delicious animals then these animals will soon be endangered or even extinct. Protect biodiversity, insist on corpse-flesh.

  • by Ragzouken (943900) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:15PM (#30275750)

    Cherry/orange/banana flavoured anything aren't made entirely of cherry/orange/banana, this meat is made of meat. It IS meat. A banana grown in the lab tastes quite a lot like a banana.

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:18PM (#30275796)

    I find the phrasing pretty weak, about being hard to come up with a label "people" would trust. Sounds like hedging between saying "we don't want to trust the lable" but not wanting to call anyone a liar. People trust the label on organic foods; why would this be harder?

    To me labeling isn't the interesting question (but then, I'm no vegitarian). To me the interesting question is economic, and only if the economics make this product something uninteresting to me do the labeling issues even come into play. I can see three possible outcomes:

    1) This approach hits a dead end, and it turns out you just can't make high-quality meat that's fit for human consumption in a lab. The researchers seem convinced that won't happen, so moving on...

    2) The approach works, but the cost to make this meat exceeds the cost of doing it the old-fashioned way. I'm optimistic enough to doubt this; consider all of the energy costs involved in raising livestock. But who knows what will be required to make "good" artificial meat; maybe this is how it goes down. In that case, it won't add noticably to the food supply in an economic sense, and it becomes uninteresting to me. It remains intersting to PETA (since they don't want to eat "real" meat). There's niche demand for it, but it's more expensive than "real" meat - conditions that would make it possible to have mis-labeling if the food manufacturers were very careful about it.

    3) The approach works and produces meat more cheaply than you can raise "real" meat. This is the only case where I care about the idea, because in this case you actually increase the food supply; but in that case, nobody has a reason to mislabel a more expensive product and sell it to you as a less-expensive product. Even if they were just jerks who wanted to trick you into eating something you don't want to eat, they'd never be able to pull it off. (How do you hide a slaughtering operation from regulators?)

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:18PM (#30275802) Homepage

    A simpler way would be to look at the price. Once they figure it out, artificial meat will be cheap. I suspect in the future, we'll look back on that question and consider it the same as 'but how will I be able to tell if someone replaces my cubic zirconia with a real diamond!' Um... because anybody doing that would be stupid?

    I would bet that the first place it'll show up is in all those '50% meat protein' processed foods you see in frozen foods sections.

  • Re:Cheers for PETA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:19PM (#30275810)

    It's quite possible that we could end up with an industry that is capable of producing flawless cuts of synthetic meat that cost much more than slaughtering the real thing.

    Don't you mean "much less"? It seems to me that producing meat in a factory, once the production processes are fine-tuned and volume increased, will cost far LESS than growing real animals. Less energy would be needed (you wouldn't have to grow a lot of food to feed animals), and the meat would be produced far more quickly, and most importantly, far less labor would be needed: no cowboys, farm hands, etc.

    Just like using mechanized agricultural equipment is far cheaper and more efficient than using slaves in farming, producing meat in factories promises to be cheaper and more efficient, and as a by-product, eliminating animal suffering as well.

    Also importantly, it'd be possible to create many types of meat cheaply that currently are very expensive due to small supply: filet minion cuts of beef, copper river salmon, veal, Kobe beef, etc. Think about how little filet minion there is per cow versus all the other cuts (and the waste products); never again would people have to eat "stew beef", as everyone could have filet minion, since it probably wouldn't cost any more to make than a synthetic version of a cheaper cut.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:22PM (#30275872) Journal

    This meat is from a artificial "muscle" that has never received any kind of exercise or strengthened itself.

    Isn't that a good thing? From Wikipedia:

    The fillet is the most tender cut of beef, and is the most expensive. The average steer or heifer provides no more than 4-6 pounds of fillet. Because the muscle is non-weight bearing, it receives very little exercise, which makes it tender.

  • Not so fast... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nilbog (732352) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:24PM (#30275920) Homepage Journal

    I'm not skeptical of the story, but I am skeptical that PETA won't have something to say about it if and when this hits production. This has the possibility of being revolutionary to the way we eat. If we don't have to wait for actual animals to grow, and can grow only the good parts without wasting money on all the unnecessary parts, we can grow meat faster and cheaper that would also be better (just clone the best animal to begin with!)

    I will be the first in line to eat cloned meat.

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:27PM (#30275970) Journal

    Look at all the bullshit flying out of the rumor machine about genetically modified foods. How long before in-vitro meat also is a shadow government and/or evil corporation conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids?

    GMO crops have a number of problems, not least of which is that companies own the rights to them and engineer varieties that don't produce viable seed so that farmers using them have to re-buy seed stock every year. And they subsidy the seeds initially to get farmers moved on to them. The end game is that the food supply becomes monopolised. I shouldn't have to explain all this. Artificial meat will in all likelihood also be encumbered by patents, at least for a while. But it's not going to become an integral part of the food supply so it wont matter. It will (probably) be fine.

    Albeit gross. ;)

  • Sure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Demonic*Yodeler (1521441) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:28PM (#30275984)
    I'll have me another slice of Shoggoth
  • From The Article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joocemann (1273720) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:29PM (#30276004)

    "[the] Vegetarian Society remained skeptical. "The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered. It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust."""

    Oh please. What you do, then, is get off your lazy skeptic butt and go to the place they are making the meat and look around. Get official people you trust as a vegetarian (whatever that means) to go investigate and report. From that report, which you trust, you should be able to know if it is coming from killed animals or from tissue generation.

    This skepticism is undue and irrational. They assume that because it is possible for an animal-slaughtering meat company to 'trick' customers by pretending it was grown in tissue culture, that it may necessarily be true.... That's garbage. In reality, a company carrying out deception of this magnitude would not go unnoticed and would probably be sued.

    You have to think: thousands of people work in meat processing plants. Every single one of them would have to be the best secret keeper on the planet for the suggested 'truth' to not be found out. And if there is anything we can know about secrets is that the more people that know it, the less likely it stays secret.

    As a matter of fact, even when only one person (the secret creator) knows a secret, it isn't safe. People are eager to share secrets. And once the number becomes 2 or more, the odds of it remaining secret reduce dramatically.

    And now I return fire with an equally ridiculous claim: The Vegetarian Society is only trying to question this so they can get me to quit eating meat, thus eat more veggies, and end up dying from rhubarb poison on accident (but on purpose because they meant to do it)!

    Damn vegetarian society could probably be trying to kill us all!

  • Nostalgia (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bwintx (813768) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:30PM (#30276014)
    Bet this stuff takes just like the "mystery meat" in the cafeteria back at my dear ol' alma mater. Yum.
  • by plopez (54068) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:30PM (#30276024) Journal

    OK, how do you produce the equivalent of 1 million animals with one animal without violating the laws of thermodynamics?
    In order to get the same calories out you need to get the same, or more, calories in. For meat it is in the range of 10 times the calories from veggies (e.g. corn) to get one calorie of meat.

    They talk about a "meat broth". This is where the calories come from. No big change. In fact it may be worse since it is higher on the food chain, you have to first produce the meat for the broth then grow the "meat" stuff. And if they switch to veg. protein we would be better off eating soy or tempeh.

    I shudder to think of the meat rendering waste they will use for the broth. And if meat is still required to make meat, PETA just screwed up.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:32PM (#30276056) Journal

    Seriously... Have you ever bought and ate a real steak. No... Not the kind you buy at Western Corral, but the NY cut or Filet mignon aged beef marinated over 24 hours cooked by a professional with the right blend of herbs spices that melts in your mouth usually costing you over 30-40 or even $100 per plate (depending on where you go) combined with a matched set of alcohol. Mmmm... I'm getting hungry....

    Yeah, and that $5/bottle water tastes so much better than tap water. You're paying a lot, so you expect it will be good, and since taste is wholly subjective you're experiencing confirmation bias. Yeah, I've had $50/plate steak. It's never as good as when I make it myself, which is just another instance of confirmation bias.

    Save yourself some money, buy your fillet from the butcher, and learn to make a steak. Then you'll be impressing women with actual skills instead of how much money you make. That attracts a more desirable demographic, and as a bonus she's already at your place.

  • by pnewhook (788591) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:34PM (#30276102)

    If faux meat tastes good and is cheaper to produce, THEN it's time to say goodbye to real meat.

    I would say it would just come down to cheaper to produce. Take a look at todays beef. Fed on corn as this fattens them up the quickest and little if any exercise. Meat tastes ok until you taste free range grass fed beef (the way they used to do it).

    Free range grass fed is WAY tastier but people dont buy it because it costs twice as much. It costs more because corn fed cows hit the weight requirements in 9 months instead of the two years for the natural way.

  • by mcsqueak (1043736) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:35PM (#30276112)

    and have absolutely no idea where their food comes from or how it got there

    Exactly. I love meat, but current factory farming practices are horrendous, from a: 1) animal welfare point of view, 2) worker safety point of view, and 3) clean and safe food supply point of view.

    It's almost sad to think about, but unless you are a hunter, vat-made food will probably be universally more appealing than current meat industry practices. Plus, no living organism = harder for meat to contract and carry diseases such as e-coli, mad cow, hoof and mouth, ect.

    They also need to synthesize fat for flavor and not work out the meat *too* much, less it becomes too lean and flavorless.

  • by howlatthemoon (718490) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:42PM (#30276238)
    Cattle are one of the most successful species on the planet. Why? Because, they threw their lot in with humans. Humans do don't care about preserving something with which they have no relationship. It takes resources to keep cows, and few to none will do it unless they is an economic benefit. Therefore, one must wonder is PETA's real motive to drive cows extinct in their drive to save cows from humans?
  • by joggle (594025) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:44PM (#30276264) Homepage Journal

    I don't know about that. Whole Foods may be doing OK, but I don't see them ever overtaking Wal*Mart.

    By and large people want to buy stuff that is cheap, filling and tastes good regardless of health issues (at least here in the US from what I've seen).

    If the artificial meat is more expensive, then it will satisfy a niche market just as organic food does today.

  • Re:Huh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dracos (107777) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:52PM (#30276436)

    Agreed, PETA doesn't deserve to have their existence justified by globbing a quote from one of their spokes-loons onto every article related to animals and/or food production. They should STFU, the thousands of dogs/cats/etc they "rescue" don't euthanize themselves.

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:17PM (#30276782)

    > If people didn't eat meat, so much more land would be available, that we could feed everyone
    > and still have a lot more land to return to the wild, thereby increasing biodiversity.

    As a practical matter, real, honest-to-god oldschool "starving kids in ${poor country}" don't really exist anymore. At least, not for reasons that have anything whatsoever to do with arable land, drought, famine, or vermin. That's not to say that nobody is hungry, but most of THOSE hungry people will STILL go to bed hungry, even if every last acre of land and bushel of corn currently used to feed livestock ceases to be used for that purpose.

    In America, at least, farmland no longer needed for factory farming is more likely to end up with strip malls and McMansions on it than wildlife or anything normally associated with "biodiversity".

    In poor countries, animals will be grown as always. It might be cheaper to factory-produce ten million pounds of "cultured bacon" or "cultured beef" per week than to raise and slaughter the equivalent number of animals, but a poor family living in a hut somewhere isn't going to have the capital to go out and buy the necessary hardware. They're going to do what they always have... buy a few dozen newly-hatched chicks, a pig or two, and a cow. Less efficient, but equally less capital-intensive.

  • Re:Tasteless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toze (1668155) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:17PM (#30276786)
    I put to you that a fast-food chain, given the option to guarantee a steady supply of meat of identical quality, unaffected by drought and not "fed" (and therefore not really susceptible to BSE/etc), that takes less than two years to produce, whose cost is unaffected by fluctuations in the international grain or corn market, is likely to make the investment the second the twenty-year costs come even. I also put to you that fast food chain's burgers are flavoured less by meat and more by seasoning. As someone whose family already sold their beef ranch, and who consumes a lot of beef, I think this is a fantastic idea.
  • Re:Cheers for PETA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:18PM (#30276800)

    How is needing less labor for something tragic?

    I suppose you'll be decrying the invention of the self-cleaning toilet too, right? Are you one of those people who goes around breaking windows to create more work?

  • Re:Cheers for PETA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Onymous Coward (97719) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:46PM (#30277164) Homepage

    Arguably, PETA's position is that animals can experience suffering, and that ethical treatment means not raising them in horrific factory farms. I don't think that's warped.

    Do you like to torture dogs? If you really think they are non-sentient (i.e., they cannot experience suffering), then the answer is "Mu [wikipedia.org]. Your question does not make sense; dogs cannot be tortured." But, no, your response is quick denial. That presumes that animals can feel. Which means that ethics apply.

    Probably your real argument lies along the lines of "my pleasure in eating factory-raised animal meat is of greater value than the freedom from suffering the animals would have experienced". Which, really, is shitty. I did my thinking a while ago, and rather than rationalize up a bunch of specious arguments so that I could deludedly continue to enjoy eating meat, I opted to reduce my consumption.

    But this is why I'm pulling for vat meat. Because I like eating meat. I want to get back to eating pork, goddamnit, and I don't want to be a rationalizing fool or an asshole in doing it.

    "Anthropomorphizing". Really. As if our branch of apes were the only animals to ever feel anything.

  • by Bandman (86149) <bandmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:49PM (#30277190) Homepage

    The laws of thermodynamics disagree with you.

  • by Maniacal (12626) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:57PM (#30277302)

    Would you mind explaining why? I'm not in disagreement but, as I said, out of my league in this one. I read over the Laws of Thermodynamics in response to your post and I can't find one that's violated. Are you saying that the heat generated would be too great? Or maybe your saying I couldn't get more electricity out than I put in, which would be true except I thought the protein, oxygen, "food crud", etc would be an additional source of energy.

  • by zoney_ie (740061) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:34PM (#30277672)

    We can already feed everyone. It's down to economics that we don't. The West produces vast amounts more food than we need, and the majority of it that is sold doesn't even get to our plates. Every year less farmland is worked in parts of Europe as it becomes unprofitable.

    As for conditions - well, our beef here in Ireland comes from cattle who are raised on grass (apparently means the meat is far healthier than corn-fed or even the grain mixtures used elsewhere in Europe). You can see them out grazing for yourself, most people would know someone on a farm and have visited a farm or two, and while slaughterhouses aren't pretty, EU legislation is so strict that there are few cases of people getting away with mistreatment of animals. One can buy free-range eggs and chickens, and even on a large scale that just fits the definition, it's fairly reasonable (certainly compared to battery chickens). Tastes better too.

    People do need to eat less meat though - even just from dietary perspective. I'm not talking about something regimental either - reasonable portions daily would still be a lot less than many people are currently eating.

    This synthetic meat thing I have to say sounds absolutely grim from a taste and dietary perspective. If it comes to market, it will not be due to any superior qualities or advantages save one - that it will make some people a lot more money.

  • Oy Vey (Score:3, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:58PM (#30277906) Homepage

    It's a pain in the ass applying bronze age ethics to modern life, isn't it?

  • by RajivSLK (398494) on Monday November 30, 2009 @09:11PM (#30278006)

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure the original posters understands that. His idea would be a way of converting "food" to electricity and edible meat by way of capturing the energy inherent in the flexing of muscle required to exercise the meat.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:36PM (#30278526)
    I can point to PETA's web site, which has tons of figures about how much land is used to grow meat. You can question the veracity of the figures, but at least they're there. Do you have anything to support your claims?
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @01:35AM (#30279730)

    As a practical matter, real, honest-to-god oldschool "starving kids in ${poor country}" don't really exist anymore. At least, not for reasons that have anything whatsoever to do with arable land, drought, famine, or vermin.

    This is true and the primary reason for that is poor government. African governments fail to create even the basic legal framework and proper enforcement necessary to achieve sustained economic growth . Without proper laws that protect private property and reasonably competent and non-corrupt enforcement there can be no real credit or private lending. Without credit and private lending it is difficult or impossible to engage in any large scale economic activity. In short, Africa is poor and hungry because African governments, with a few notable exceptions, have largely failed their peoples.

    Finally, to add insult to injury, the vast amounts of foreign aid, and particularly food aid, serve to prevent African farmers from ever stepping onto the ladder of economic growth. Why bust your butt to bring a crop to market when every season there are trucks driving up and dropping sacks of "USA Wheat" in the marketplace for ten times less than it costs you to produce it? The African farmers are driven out of business by artificially cheap farm imports sent as "foreign aid" in the name of "helping the starving people". In the long run, nobody but farmers in wealthy nations benefits from farm subsidies. Incidentally, this is also why the trade talks generally go nowhere. The third world countries form a block to demand an end to farm subsidies while first world diplomats have been specifically instructed by their governments not to give an inch on subsidies.

  • Re:Cheers for PETA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:09AM (#30281136)
    I've lived on a farm and my solution was a little different. I try to buy meat and eggs that are taken from animals that are reasonably treated and every once in a while I take the moral responsibility of going out myself and killing something to eat. I don't particularly enjoy hunting and I don't see it as a "sport" - it might be if it was you naked with a knife vs a bear but I don't see much sporting about you with a rifle vs an animal that has no way to even know what is going on.... but rather it's something people should do, and would benefit from doing, if they are going to eat meat. It wouldn't hurt people to have to grow a few fruits and vegetables and harvest them themselves either.
  • by Philip K Dickhead (906971) <folderol@fancypants.org> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:01AM (#30283280) Journal

    For Soylent Green

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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