Archive for in vitro meat

Building a Better Cowreactor

Posted in Beef, Fake Meat, MEAT POLITICS with tags , on May 21, 2008 by chomposaurus


Salon.com’s Green Lantern blog takes a closer look at the reality of making beef in a lab. The article tells us some utterly fascinating details about how labmeat is made to taste more like real cow:

There has also been talk of adding polysaccharide beads to the bioreactors; as the temperature or acidity of the solution changes, these beads would expand or contract, thus providing the necessary workout for the nascent tissue. The beads would likely be made from the exoskeletons of arthropods and are completely nontoxic.

However, it throws cold water on the idea that you’ll be buying artificial wursts in your local Safeway next year:

Despite considerable hubbub over the technology in recent months, we’re still years—or, more likely, decades—away from affordable lab-grown meat. The current experiments are taking place in bioreactors that measure only a few hundred milliliters in volume, and the longest complete muscle tissues are just 2 centimeters long. Researchers are nowhere close to scaling up their production to market-ready levels, to say nothing of market-ready prices. A Dutch team’s lab-grown pork, for example, would cost around $45,000 per pound—assuming they could make an entire pound of the stuff.

But it’s good to dream about having my own portable beef-growing bioreactor in the basement.

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Capitalism for Vegans

Posted in Chicken, MEAT POLITICS with tags , , on April 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

freedom tastes like chickenHow can PETA get people to stop eating delicious meat?  By throwing money at them!  In a move surprising for its creativity but standard in its capacity for extreme publicity, the animal liberation group is sponsoring a contest to develop commercially viable in vitro meat.  I discussed this lab-grown tastiness in a previous post.

The rules of the contest are simple: make the meat, make it taste like chicken (shouldn’t be hard, so many things do), then sell it to people.  If you do so before anyone else, you get a cool million.  Not a bad deal.  And you have four years to do it.

Of course, some people at PETA actually objected, according to this NYTimes article.  I blame them for the fact that my Tofu Pups seem to taste less and less like real hotdogs as time goes by.

A McNugget is Growing on my Air Conditioner

Posted in MEAT POLITICS with tags , on April 17, 2008 by chomposaurus

In Vitro Delicious
There’s an excellent post on the NYTimes’ blog “Dot Earth” rounding up some news about in vitro meat– which, if you don’t know, is meat grown as a culture, like bacteria. Instead of e. coli, though, the carnitologists (as I’m sure they are technically called) culture muscle cells from cows, pigs or chicken. The result is real meat, albeit in a form that resembles the inside of a fried crab ball more than a fine cut of ribeye. But it’s still meat, and it supposedly tastes like the (ground up) real thing. No animals are killed in the process.

The Times seems to think we should be all worried about putting such strange, cloned meat into our bodies, but considering what chemicals are in the average nacho cheese dorito, I don’t think it should be a problem. I’m all for in vitro meats. It’s all about not hitting the Meat Wall.

As usual, wikipedia has the best info:
WikiMeat: In Vitro