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Scientists Create Artificial Meat

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the mmmmm-soggy-pork dept.

Biotech 820

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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820 comments

I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Insightful)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275328)

The obvious solution is some sort of horrid electrode array.

Weak-kneed members of the public will have to be kept away from the giant culture vats, where hideous amorphous flesh lumps, studded with electrodes, thrash and strain; but they should be able to get exactly as much exercise as they need, without becoming excessively tough.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (3, Insightful)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275528)

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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (5, Insightful)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275356)

The implications for space travel are cool. The implications for feeding people who currently live with hunger could be cool. I doubt they would ever completely do away with natural meat. It will probably always be available for those who can pay for it, but if this becomes cheaper and easier to make than raising animals I could see it becoming pretty big. I would think that if the process can be refined then we could get more meat with less environmental impact.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275472)

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).

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275762)


The implications for space travel are cool. The very long term implications for the meat industry are interesting. But the implications for those living with hunger are minimal. It's almost certainly still going to be more efficient to just live off grains, pulses et al. There might be some possibility that this stuff can be grown somewhat efficiently by feeding it with off low-cost nutrients that aren't fit for human consumption... but it will be a long time before that becomes cost effective and the supporting costs for growing this stuff (vats, heating, pumps, antibiotics or whatever else is required to keep growing meat without a supporting immune system healthy and pure) will also offset its cost effectiveness against vegetarian food sources.

It's not impossible, but we already have means to turn low-quality nutrients (from a human point of view) into a nutritious textured product, and it's called Quorn [wikipedia.org]

I don't pretend to speak for all vegetarians, but speaking personally, I think this has potential to be a great thing in replacing natural meat in people's diets. But I've no desire to eat it myself. Aside from general *yuck*, I'm quite happy with a healthy vegetarian diet and I know a lot of other vegetarians are also. We don't need to punish our colons by giving that up. But for those that might otherwise eat natural meat, this is probably a good thing. It is certainly interesting. I'm disappointed at the lack of pictures, but I guess they know it wouldn't help future marketing to have some Dr. Who alien slopping around in a tank. ;)

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275368)

Ruling out some kind of vegetarian theocracy, that's not how economics works.

Butchers sell sausages, most of which are cheap and tasty. Why do they do this? After all, how are they going to sell those expensive Wagu steaks if there's cheap sausages available in the same display cabinet. Are butchers just stupid? Clearly not. It's called growing the market. People who can't afford expensive steak don't go become vegetarians and never step into a butchers, they eat the cheaper meat, and on occasion they splurge on steak. A "cheaper than sausages" artificial meat will have the same effect.. for a start, people with ethical considerations will now be eating meat.. some of those people will lose those ethical considerations later in life and be tempted to sample the more expensive meat varieties.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275764)

for a start, people with ethical considerations will now be eating meat

Yeah, you would think, but when PETA offered their million dollar prize [nytimes.com] for in-vitro meat, there was a substantial portion of the organization who were still opposed to it. Why, I don't know, I suppose some people are so caught up in their ideology they don't think critically about it anymore.

That aside, I wonder how much consumer acceptance this will have. I'm all for it (guilt free snow leopard sandwich here I come!), but people don't like 'fake' food. 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?

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275374)

Even if your prediction were to come true I doubt it would happen in my life time, so I couldn't care less. I won't be reading the article, but this sounds more interesting for from the Sci Fi grow new limbs etc angle that others will probably mention (if they haven't already, slow typist)

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275384)

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

Why? It's meat in the lab. I'm sure it's possible to hook some sort of electrode to make it exercise itself, 24/7, and grow it in an optimal solution of nutrients. You'll be able to get meat developed in such a way that it would have been economically, or even technically impossible to make a cow exercise that much (if such a thing improves the taste any further, anyway)

Plus, with it being in a lab there's no cow that they have to feed antibiotics or sheep brains, so it'll probably be healthier too.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Informative)

Cyrus20 (1345311) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275536)

somehow I do not see this ever stopping me from hunting and eating venison, duck, goose ect..

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275576)

Furthermore, since people don't actually grow their own food anymore, and have absolutely no idea where their food comes from or how it got there, as far as they know this could already be a reality. Jimmy Dean or Hormel could have perfected this technology 10 years ago and since nobody knows anything about their food, they would be happily eating it thinking it was real meat. The "I love how real meat tastes!" argument is flimsy, because 99.99% of the people who say that actually have no idea if the meat they are eating is real to begin with.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (5, Insightful)

lysdexia (897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275618)

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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275464)

If it tasted the same (or could be made to), would it matter?
What would be way more important is to determine if differences in the way that this new meat grew, or changed would be detrimental to the person eating it.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275580)

If it tasted the same (or could be made to), would it matter?

When was the last time you had cherry/orange/banana flavored anything that tasted real?

I imagine the "meat flavor" would be about the same. Engineered to please the masses, but not taste anything like the real thing. In fact, I imagine it would taste like something else to ease the stomachs of those that don't like meat because they would be the only ones really working toward that goal.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Insightful)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275794)

I imagine the "meat flavor" would be about the same. Engineered to please the masses, but not taste anything like the real thing.

isn't the whole current meat industry already "engineered to please the masses"? witness mcnuggets and the ubiquitous slathering of bacon on everything.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (2, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275532)

if we weren't meant to eat meat why is it right there in the word? me eat, could earn a few bonus points in scrabble good enough reason for me.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

MrSenile (759314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275688)

Yea, I tend to eat that quality meat quite a lot at the nearby Brazilian steakhouse.

Meat coma good.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275792)

You are getting ripped off. Skip all this, go out, cut the right farmer's fence. Wait for the next steer (skip the cow) to come out and then drive as fast as you can at the steer. Not only do you get a free side of beef, but it gets tenderized quickly.

And if that does not make sense, then here is how you can have some fun;
Find a fence that consists of single wires and then to get back at the farmer, just go ahead and piss on it. That will really teach him a lesson.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275646)

yeah i bet tofu burgers are better.. argh.

Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275752)

I wonder what the implications will be for the Midwestern economy. I wonder how the population dynamics of domesticated animals will change. Will the world lose exotic breeds of farm animal, like the fancy tufted Polish chickens? Or will we preserve them, as 'real meat' becomes more of a gourmet/specialty market? What's "ethically" "better" for livestock and domesticated animals?

Genuine RoboFood (TM) Seal (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275280)

whip up an industry group to buy a bunch of TV ads promoting the Genuine RoboFood (TM) Alliance. bring Max Headroom back as the spokesbyte.

Artificial vs. Real Meat (4, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!

Re:Artificial vs. Real Meat (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275436)

Why not artificial eggs? It'd beat Egg Beaters, and would also have the advantage of being green. Why that is an advantage, I leave up to the consumer. I would like the label to be a cartoon steer, with Xs for eyes and a saggy tongue, and a big red circle-X through it. Looking forward to sampling artificial meat jerky and Slim Jims and the new "artificial meat farts!" Go, science, GO!

Re:Artificial vs. Real Meat (2, Informative)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275684)

Looking forward to sampling artificial meat jerky and Slim Jims

There hasn't been real meat in Slim Jims since before Randy Savage was their spokesman. ;)

Re:Artificial vs. Real Meat (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275512)

colour tends to put people off food, perhaps something which shows up only under UV or some kind of chemical marker you concerned vegetarians could check for with a piece of consumer electronics.

Re:Artificial vs. Real Meat (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275612)

I suddenly picture the technicolor world of the 50s future worlds. White everything with neon bright colored foods.

Cheers for PETA (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cheers for PETA (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275410)

It's even more stupid, because vegetables and plants have their own minds too. There was news about this recently, and its known some plants (especially in rain forests) defend themself when an enemy goes closer. Or the various meat-eating plants.

So what does Peta want people to eat? Snow?

Re:Cheers for PETA (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275488)

Soylent Green, perhaps?

PETA would be all over that, I am sure. As long as the "meat eaters" are processed first.

Re:Cheers for PETA (4, Funny)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275638)

Soylent Green, perhaps?

PETA would be all over that, I am sure. As long as the "meat eaters" are processed first.

From a health perspective, it would be better to eat vegetarians. Economically, vegetarians also have the benefit of being cheaper to produce, and their environmental cost is lower. I believe PETA's web site can provide helpful information supporting those points.

Re:Cheers for PETA (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275714)

Ah, yes, you are correct.

But, then again, you could never get PETA to back the eating of vegetarian human beings (i.e. still meat). ;)

Re:Cheers for PETA (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275456)

They do have a point though. 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. Fraud could become a real problem if the technology gets good enough but stays expensive.

Re:Cheers for PETA (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275552)

But if it gets cheaper, expect many farm animals to go extinct in many areas, being replaced by the vat-grown clonemeat. What would PETA think about that?

Soggy Meat? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275312)

Is that what we are calling Solyent Green now?

Re:Soggy Meat? (2, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275450)

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:Soggy Meat? (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275668)

I'd like it better if you did a complete clone.
Roast suckling human!
/me makes hannibal_lechter_slurp_noise

Re:Soggy Meat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275772)

This is exactly the premise made in a SciFi short story I read about 25 years ago. The story took the form of an congressman (or senator?) raising the issue for debate. Now if only I could remember the title and who wrote it.

Interesting, but late... (1)

plaidlad (244459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275314)

"...researchers believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat..."

Obviously these scientists haven't sampled my ex-wife's cooking... I had always figured she had gotten the drop on these guys...

Not so big a question (2, Insightful)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275332)

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.

Re:Not so big a question (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275452)

I would gladly pay a premium for food that doesn't cause animal suffering, is less likely to contain disease, tastes better (clone only the best tissue from the best animals), and has less of a negative impact on the environment.

Re:Not so big a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275598)

Environmental impact? The overall energy efficiency of this meat will still be that of a consumer, not a producer (plant). So it will still have worse environmental impact than plant-based foods, and quite possibly worse than the pig per se.

Unless you engineer in clorophyll, too.

In other words, it's not green unless it's green.

Re:Neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275546)

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

Unless it tastes good, and then it'll cost 3x as much as traditional meat. ;-)

Not-too-distant future radio ad: "Neat tastes better than meat, it's completely sterile so it doesn't require refrigeration. There are no bones, so kids love it; it's more nutritious than meat so parents love it, and it's made without harming a single living creature so animal rights activists love it. Find Neat in your grocer's cereal aisle. Try it today. You'll love it! (kids cheering...) Neat! Neat! Neat!"

Sounds like it could be a boon (2, Insightful)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275340)

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

Re:Sounds like it could be a boon (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275744)

It also would remove some of the danger of eating real meat; no cow feces possibly contaminating the meat, no microscopic brain or bone bits spreading diseases.

PETA likes it. (1)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275348)

Therefore I am against it. Nothing but real dead animals on my plate will suffice.

Re:PETA likes it. (2, Insightful)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275470)

Agreed, we must keep the farm animal population down before they rise up and kill us all like in Animal Farm.

Great idea. (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275412)

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. Hmm... I wonder if I qualify for the job of "Experimental R&D Chef"

Un-exercised meat (2, Interesting)

the Dragonweaver (460267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275420)

So this could be a way to have guilt-free veal, I guess. Or foie gras.

I would not be surprised if this is widely adopted in, say, 50 years' time. Epicureans will extol the values of "real" meat over vat meat, environmentalists will fight to make vat meat more affordable, and a generation of kids will wonder what the big deal is, meat is meat and they'd still rather play with the mashed potatoes.

Re:Un-exercised meat (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275690)

environmentalists will fight to make vat meat more affordable

... and our national debt goes further through the roof as someone obtains another subsidy to artificial farmers and a secondary subsidy to "real meat" farmers to not grow livestock to appease these people...

Not trolling, I'm serious. How do you expect the "vat meat" to be pushed as a viable alternative in the time lines these folks desire? They are going to go straight to "The Hill" to get it done.

So... is it KOSHER? (1)

dtolman (688781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275442)

I'm guessing not...

Re:So... is it KOSHER? (4, Interesting)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275636)

It might be actually. Let's see:
  • It has no blood
  • It didn't need to be killed (rendering the rules of slaughter irrelevant)
  • It never had hooves, or any other body part that would be evaluated by the rules given in the Torah

It's an odd scenario, and I suspect it would go different ways depending on the rabbi you ask. I suspect many rabbis would still forbid meat cloned from trafe animals, but I suspect vat-beef would be acceptable. But IANAR (I am not a rabbi) so I can't say for sure.

Epic fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275460)

... 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...

Okay smartasses, how is the broth of other animal products made?

Epic fail on understanding vegetarians and vegans.

I hereby volunteer 10cc of muscle tissue ... (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275468)

I have no qualms about people all over the world eating me.
In fact, I'd like to invite you all to eat me, right now.
Bon Apetit!

...What? (1)

Judinous (1093945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275476)

"Difficult to label and identify in a way that people could trust"? Simply putting a term like "made from artificially-grown flesh", or whatever they decide to call it, on the label would constitute an express warranty. If that warranty is breached (by including regular meat), the customers can sue (and win). What's their complaint, here? Do they just have a total ignorance of basic business law?

Re:...What? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275702)

I'm guessing that these kinds of comments are made by vegetarians who are more concerned about growing the ranks of their "organization" than preventing animals from being killed. To them, its about being a part of the "in group" as opposed to any actual productive results. You'll find those kinds of people in any sort of organization, and they tend to be the most annoying. I'm guessing that most vegetarians will either welcome this or have no opinion.

Nobody's tasted the stuff yet?? (2, Funny)

mbstone (457308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275486)

What, Eindhoven University doesn't have "student food service"? My alma mater would have served up the stuff in a New York minute along with the usual by-products, fillers, and cereals....

Mystery meat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30275490)

I call BS. My high school was serving artificial meat 10 years ago.

My Hope (4, Funny)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275492)

My Hope is that this technology can one day provide us with cheap easily produced bacon-wrapped steak and other meats. My true hope is that some sort of animal will be produced that will grow in some sort of bacon wrapped configuration because I want to gaze upon this delicious animal frolicking mouth-waterlingly in an open field before I eat it.

Tasteless (4, Informative)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275502)

As a foodie, all I have to say is that a large part of the taste of a good steak comes from the FAT content of the meat, and that _pure_ 'cultivated' muscle tissue would make for a terrible steak, and an even worse hamburger.

Until they manage to grow a well-marbled piece of meat, they won't be any better than a tofu burger.

Backfire on PETA (2, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Backfire on PETA (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275726)

I dunno where you got the idea that Peta cares about there being less animals in the world..

They believe it is ethically wrong to slaughter animals for food - and, in fact, that's the more extreme members, most members are just against the cruel slaughter of animals and think it can be done ethically - they don't care about reducing the total number.. depending on who you talk to you'll even hear how the mass farming of livestock is having a terrible impact on the environment.

Re:Backfire on PETA (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275786)

No, we'll slaughter the livestock we have as we transition to the new method

Kill current livestock v. kill current livestock after breeding them so we can kill more in the future.

How is PETA wrong in choosing the former, again?

Did Peta Read The Article? (3, Insightful)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Labeling solution! (1)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275538)

“It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust.” You could label it as... wait for it... "Artificial Meat"! Apparently I missed the day in school where we were taught not to trust labels on food.

Is it too soon for a meat garden? (1)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275544)

How long would it take to grow some ribeye's in my backyard? Do you have to water them daily?

Where's the line? (1)

machinelou (1119861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275560)

Honestly, I don't get PITA's position. It's no longer part of an animal because...? Maybe because it doesn't have nerve cells that fire given "painful" stimulation? What if it does? Who's going to care about the poor little piece of meat that has to exercise all day long and experience the burn of its own lactic acid until some fat 'Merican orders it super-sized? Or maybe it's not part of an animal because there's no "brain" for the signals to reach? If that's the case, we should genetically construct brainless cows and have them running off arduinos instead. Does someone have a script for chewing I can download? But, surely someone would protest that. If only those who prefer PIC over ATMEL.

Great idea (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275572)

Now we can kill off all the pigs, chickens and cows who serve no purpose in this world other than to provide meat. I wonder which method PETA will approve: shooting, poison gas, suffocation.....or maybe old age?

Not really a problem (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275588)

"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." Just follow this one simple rule: if it tastes like crap, it's artificial meat. PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) has known this for years.

Better Off Ted: Test Tub Meat (2, Informative)

troutinator (943529) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275606)

Reminds me of an episode of "Better Off Ted" called "Test Tube Meat" where they have to figure out a way to exercise there lump of grown meat because the unexercised attempt it tasted like "despair".

the label you're looking for is "$0.50/lb" (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275614)

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.

I would imagine we will be able to grow meat at a substantially lower cost than raising cattle... the difference to the consumer will be pretty obvious. Other than that, I agree that it may be hard to tell the difference between "bad" slaughtered meat and grown meat.

Exercizing Meat (4, Interesting)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275640)

Could it be contracted and expanded with electric shocks?

It's amazing that a vat full of electrified meat is more appetizing than current factory farms...

Kim Kool (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275656)

"A long, tall, delicious glass of Meat"

No, thanks, I like my food to have at least a genus, and preferably a species, associated with it.

Better Off Ted (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275666)

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

Better Off Ted [wikipedia.org] Episode 2: "Heroes": Phil and Lem, of Veridian Dynamics [veridiandynamics.com], try to grow cow-less meat... Reportedly, the meat currently tastes like "despair".

Veridian Dynamics. We're the future of food, developing the next generation of food and food-like products. Tomatoes... the size of this baby, lemon-flavored fish, chicken that lay 16 eggs a day, which is a lot for a chicken, organic vegetables chock-full of antidepressants. At Veridian Dynamics, we can even make radishes so spicy that people can't eat them, but we're not, because people can't eat them. Veridian Dynamics. Food. Yum.

How do you suppose they are going to trick (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275756)

and/or force a grad student to be the one that finally tastes the meat? That poor(literally and figuratively) person....

The thought of it made me puke on my Big Mac (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30275780)

Thanks... now my yummy processed Big Mac that features several million different sources of "meat" is ruined.

This is disgusting.

One day it might happen, but keep you're liquid pig ass out of my bacon.

The question is about labeling? (3, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?)

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