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Biotech

In Vitro Grown Meat 'Nearly Possible' 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-don't-eat-greens,-food-eats-greens dept.
Bruce66423 writes "An article at The Guardian discusses the prospects for food from radically different sources than the ones we're used to. 'Sweet fried crickets' anyone? Quoting: '... artificial steak is still a way off. Pizza toppings are closer. The star of the Dutch research into in-vitro meat, Dr Mark Post, promised that the first artificial hamburger, made from 10bn lab-grown cells, would be ready for "flame-grilling by Heston Blumenthal" by the end of 2012. At the time of writing it is still on the back burner. Post (who previously produced valves for heart surgery) and other Dutch scientists are currently working over the problem of how to turn the "meat" from pieces of jelly into something acceptably structured: an old-fashioned muscle. Electric shocks may be the answer. ... The technological problems of producing the new hi-tech foods are nothing compared to the trouble the industry is having with the consumers – the "yuck factor," as the food technology scientists across the world like to put it. Shoppers' squeamishness has turned the food corporations, from whom the real money for R&D will have to come, very wary, and super-secretive about their work on GM in America.'"
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In Vitro Grown Meat 'Nearly Possible'

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  • by nine932038 (1934132) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:25AM (#42494129)

    After encountering the notion in the Vorkosigan series and thinking about it a bit, the notion of lab-grown meat doesn't seem like a big deal. It's arguably more sanitary than an animal that's been standing in filth for its entire life, after all.

  • by Beetjebrak (545819) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:29AM (#42494143) Homepage
    I don't understand the yuck-factor. Go buy a McChicken at the big yellow M. There's nothing recognizably chicken-ish about that product at all. The taste and texture is completely different from the chicken I tasted as a kid, when my grandfather would routinely kill and prepare his own chickens for dinner. I can tell you from personal experience that the yuck-factor in actually killing a chicken with a blade is much higher than that of an electricallly stimulated nuggy grown inside a petri dish.
  • by dwywit (1109409) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:43AM (#42494191)

    You might be right - but it's your choice whether to eat that sort of meat, or not. I'm prepared to pay more - sometimes a lot more - for free-range meat. Doesn't have to be "organic", just not raised or fattened in pens or feedlots or cages.

  • Re:Irony (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @06:19AM (#42494339)

    > which is seen as OK by the organic lobby. Go figure.

    Speaking for myself and not for any organization or lobby, I've been annoyed by a seemingly recurring method to promote particular technologies like nuclear energy or genetic engineering.

    Please let me take this opportunity to be on-topic and show how nefarious such method can be.

    For instance, as of recently some dude figured he was "wrong" and GM is not bad, so he changed his view. Well, he might be wrong in opposing GM, but the other extreme (give a blank blanche to labs) might be a bigger problem. In my particular case, I have no problem if they make more meat with a GM ox (actually, this is great as it leads to sacrificing less animal lives)... but I certainly don't want to eat plants engineered to produce more toxic components or able to resist better to -- and thus more contaminated with -- plant ("weed") killers.

    It's the same with nuclear energy: it's essential for medical use, but frankly, people don't know how to deal with nuclear reactors. It's not a Physics or Engineering problem -- it's a case of management incompetence. And I see no solution for that in the near future.

    The method I talk about is stressing some quality of a technology while minimizing important drawbacks it or some of its uses may have. This is highly biased and dishonest IMHO.

    Therefore, I welcome lab meat -- because I need meat, it's part of my culture, but I want to stop killing other animals lives to get the meat I need. Nonetheless, there must be proper management in place so that quality and origin are assured.

  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Sunday January 06, 2013 @06:35AM (#42494409) Homepage

    Oh I forgot this part.

    I read http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3361051&cid=42494273 [slashdot.org] and remembered I forgot one thing. The alternative to that "not very fresh but rather scavanging style meat": The very fresh meat.

    As in those videos on YouTube there you for instance have a turtle in a fishing uhm, dish-layout-selling board (I don't know the english word) where he or she has had the top part of his shell sawed of and with the internal of his body showing but he may still eventually be alive considering what his head is doing (I don't know for sure / remember.)

    Or those fishes which is very fast prepared (I don't remember how) and possibly prepared in a pan but still moves on your plate.

    There was also some squid which moved when served but it had lemon juice or whatever on it and I think it was said to be due to electrical impulses but still dead and I assume the fishes which still move their gills may be dead but still have that reacting (though I find it somewhat weird and I'm not sure / convinced? Would they really flap their gills in an ordinary fashing if they was dead? Not just open them up or close them once and hold that position?)

    Anyway whatever still alive but in a very damaged and suffering state or recently killed but still moving I find those kind of styles and cooking disgusting. I do get it's supposed to show off the freshness but if there's any chance the animal is suffering it totally suck.

    All these are from Asian cuisine and all of it is sea life something which is disgusting regardless of what it is due to the extreme over fishing and the countries with massive population but too little land to feed them all likely will ignore any regulation and ideas to keep the fishing industry alive long-term and the oceans healthy and alive to feed their population short term. It's horrible how the sea life is threated.

    Look at these shark fin pictures and say you think that's right and better than factory grown meat:
    http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/50552/alarming+sight+thousands+of+shark+fins+drying+on+hong+kong+rooftop/ [grindtv.com]

    But I guess the idiots who want to eat flapping fishes or their eyes or horns of whatever creature are going to switch the something cruelty free because their minds are so stuck with what they eat and the benefit of it.

    Look at this photo:
    http://static.grindtv.com/images/1/00/41/05/97/410597.jpg [grindtv.com]

    Totally disgusting, such a waste and total lack of compassion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @06:41AM (#42494425)

    The amount of grain and water it takes to raise the meat eaten by Americans alone could feed everyone in the entire world.

    Most of the grains we feed to livestock aren't worth a shit to humans from a nutritional point of view. I wish every stupid hippie who propagates this bullshit would go out, pick up a couple bales of alfalfa, and try actually surviving on it. Doesn't work so fucking well, because you're a human and not a goddamn cow.

    Look, out in your back yard all that grass? Goats can get fat eating that stuff. So do us all a favor and next time you feel like spreading this type of FUD, go cut your lawn and put the trimmings on your plate, and try living off that.

  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Sunday January 06, 2013 @07:39AM (#42494639) Homepage

    Not true and you could also grow other crops.

    True for areas which isn't suitable for farming grains though.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday January 06, 2013 @08:05AM (#42494715) Homepage Journal

    To me a slaughtered animals is about as yucky as it can be.

    Did you know there are no indigenous vegetarians? There may have been some, but they were probably eaten. Your distaste for what is one of the most natural processes on the world (before blood existed, there were predators and prey) would make you unfit to survive in the wild.

    or me personally there may still be some mental issue due to what it is even if no animal had to die and the cells wasn't grown on an animal based diet/medium. That may not make much sense though,

    You're hardly the only person I know who is grossed out by meat. To me, though, that's not just a mental issue, it's mental illness. We are omnivores. Actual predators often don't even wait until an animal stops moving before they eat it. They have no sense of nicety.

    You've convinced yourself of something arbitrary and false.

    The simple truth is that an animal has an immune system and a vat of meat doesn't, so from any logical standpoint, it's the vat-grown meat that's "yucky". Animals are self-cleaning and self-repairing. With that said, CAFOs are the devil's work.

  • by EvolutionInAction (2623513) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:18AM (#42495515)
    You need to study formal logic a bit more. What you are committing is popularly known as the naturalistic fallacy. This is the assumption that what is natural is good, and what is good must be natural.

    Which is stupid when you actually stop and think about it. Dolphins rape each other, perfectly natural. Not good.

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