Test Tube Meat: Would You Eat It?


lab meatI'm not talking Tofurky. Right now we have the technology to develop "in-vitro" or "synthetic" meat from cultured animal cells. Supposedly this cultured meat would taste very close to conventional meat.

Some environmentalists like the idea because synthetic meat has a much lower environmental impact than conventional meat. The conventional meat industry generates 6 to 9 percent of greenhouse gas in the US. Also, some animal rights activists like the idea that no animals are held captive and killed for synthetic meat.

Synthetic meat is still way too expensive to put on the market quite yet. But it already has its critics.

According to Slow Food USA president Josh Viertel:

"The problems with cruelty to animals are born of that gap [between producer and consumer]. I see [test tube flesh] as a solution that just increases that gap .... This is a technology that's just going to give more to companies and create a larger distance between us."

In other words, if you're into the farm-to-plate ethic, this is pushing us further away from that ideal.

Here's what I wonder: What would it taste like? Meat flavor actually varies a great deal depending on the animal breed, what it eats, where it's raised, even how it's slaughtered. How much artificial flavoring would you have to add to synthetic meat to make it taste good enough to eat?

What do you think? Is synthetic meat the next brilliant idea in food or a culinary nightmare?

Image via Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com/Flickr



eco-friendly, food, trends


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Cafe... Cafe Suzanne

I think I'd rather eat no meat than synthetic meat.

nonmember avatar Kate The Great

Blech. That's my opinion on what it'll taste like. It's a fascinating idea, growing meat out of petri dishes. A fascinating concept, like a meal in a peice of gum, but it probably wouldn't be very healthy for you. And I bet something in our bodies will be able to tell the difference between the fake stuff and the real stuff.

Still, I wouldn't be against trying it, just for the novelty. My question: would it stand up to buffeting we give it to cook it? Would it be marinated, cubed, in a stir-fry, grilled, etcetra and stilll retain it's flavor and shape?

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Well, I don't eat red meat, not for ethical reasons - just because it grosses me out.  But I'll tell you this, if there was a gun to my head and I was forced to eat real meat or robomeat, you can bet your bippy I'd open up and say "moo!".

At what point are American's going to stop tolerating manufactured food??

Adria... AdrianaCooks

Yeah... for me this is up there with plastic surgery and other ways we try to work against nature.

chang... changa1218

Definately will not eat it.  That's just sick.  We won't know the effects it has on us until years down the road.  Look what happened with Equal. 

tazdvl tazdvl

Um, no

Susan Duran

I think it's great. no more killing animals and still have the food that most of us crave the most. I have faith that they will eventually get it right.

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