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Space Meat Coming to your Kitchen

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the future-is-now-or-something dept.

Technology 854

jdray writes "Australia's GizMag is running an article about the industrialization of a NASA-tested concept for artificially creating meat. The article mentions meat makers as home appliances. Carne-Matic aside, this sounds like a mixed blessing, and brings about visions of some sterile, Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority, and real, hoof-grown meat is a rare delicacy. Remember, Soylent Green is people!" You can read a curiously familiar Slashdot story from a month ago too.

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Hello! (0, Offtopic)

j0nkatz (315168) | about 9 years ago | (#13338727)

Speaking of eating meat...

Eat me!!! First Post!!!

I think they already did this... (5, Funny)

bladernr (683269) | about 9 years ago | (#13338740)

its called SPAM

Re:I think they already did this... (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | about 9 years ago | (#13338750)

NASA? Puts a whole new meaning on the term 'meat rocket'...

Re:I think they already did this... (3, Funny)

oriole1 (908050) | about 9 years ago | (#13338767)

Not to mention that McDonald's has been using this technology for years. Mmmmm..... "All-beef" patty, "Special" sauce, lettuce (aka crunchy water), cheese?, pickles, onions, sesame seed bun....

Re:I think they already did this... (3, Funny)

kent, knower of all (47897) | about 9 years ago | (#13338801)


Interesting parallel. Both claim to be offerring some kind of meat, but neither one really claims to offer food. :~}

Re:I think they already did this... (1)

fader (107759) | about 9 years ago | (#13338841)

"Not having access to that technology, we make ours out of napkins."

Re:I think they already did this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338798)

SPAM....

I can see the spam now: "gR0w Ur M3^t 4 F&E3!!!"

Re:I think they already did this... (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 9 years ago | (#13338880)

Spam is meat? Really? I was not aware of that. I thought it was some kind of polymer gel.

You Insensitive Clod!... (2, Funny)

Suburbanpride (755823) | about 9 years ago | (#13338743)

I'm a vegetarian

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (4, Interesting)

mikeophile (647318) | about 9 years ago | (#13338768)

You might say this in jest, but I'd be interested in hearing what ethical vegetarians think about eating cruelty-free meat.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338799)

we hate it -- it gives us less to whine about.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338820)

As long as it tastes nothing like the current Vegetarian 'meat' i.e. Tofu sausages etc., I would be happy to eat it. Sounds as damaging to animal kind as masterbating into a tissue.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338865)

I agree with you for the most part. Most brands I've tasted aren't good.

Have you ever tried tofurkey brand sausages though? their kilbasa, beer brats, and italian sausages are delicious.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (0, Offtopic)

wed128 (722152) | about 9 years ago | (#13338911)

Every time you masterbate god kills a kitten...

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (0, Offtopic)

Ced_Ex (789138) | about 9 years ago | (#13338946)

Every time you masterbate god kills a kitten...

You call it "masterbate", I call it "population control".

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (0, Offtopic)

Minwee (522556) | about 9 years ago | (#13338999)

And this is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population -- spank it like a wild monkey today.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (5, Funny)

oriole1 (908050) | about 9 years ago | (#13338847)

"cruelty-free"???

What about the folks who have to eat this stuff?

As a borderline vegan, (4, Interesting)

Nosf3ratu (702029) | about 9 years ago | (#13338864)

I'll say this:
If the meat is wholly synthetic, and never came from a living animal, I think that most vegetarians would find it difficult to say no to it.

However, haven spoken to my vegan wife about a similar issue just yesterday (cloned meat), if the fake meat originated from the cell of one real animal, it still goes against the basic constructs of veganism.

It's not all about how the animal is treated, it's just that it is animal flesh.

Re:As a borderline vegan, (4, Insightful)

MaxQuordlepleen (236397) | about 9 years ago | (#13338982)

Great insight. As an unreconstructed carnivore, I've got some ignorant comments to make :)

While the attitude you describe may hold true for pre-existing vegan and vegetarian folk, I wonder if we would see a sharp decline in the ranks of 'new converts'. Pure speculation of course, but if the ethical difficulty becomes basically theoretical rather than actual, I doubt that many people would feel compelled to change their eating habits.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (3, Interesting)

P-Nuts (592605) | about 9 years ago | (#13338871)

You might say this in jest, but I'd be interested in hearing what ethical vegetarians think about eating cruelty-free meat.
As the artificial meat is technically an animal-derived product - you start with a real animal's muscle cell and replicate it - it would probably be ethically okay for vegetarians, but not for vegans. NB: IANAV

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | about 9 years ago | (#13338936)

Theoretically, only a small amount of muscle fibre is needed. Suppose the "donor" animal was anesthetised and some muscle was harvested, then then wound was sewn up - would that be sufficiently cruelty-free??

I don't know any vegans, so I don't know if they just don't eat anything that once had legs, or if there's some other reason.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (1)

chrisv (12054) | about 9 years ago | (#13338910)

Well, that depends on whether you happen to be a vegetarian or vegan to "save the animals" or other such similar things, or because you just don't like the taste of the stuff.

Being one of those people who don't eat meat because they don't like the stuff, I can't honestly say I care all that much if you can make meat withou it coming from an animal. It's still meat, regardless of whether it came from a Meat-o-Matic or not.

Leather without the cow and other such things - that would be nice. And no, that PVC stuff doesn't count.

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 years ago | (#13338913)

You might say this in jest, but I'd be interested in hearing what ethical vegetarians think about eating cruelty-free meat.

I for one would not eat this. It skeeves me out like you wouldn't believe. Tank-grown, faux-critter isn't on the list of things I'm likely to try.

And, for many of us vegetarians, it's a combination of the ethics of meat combined with the fact that meat-heavy diets are held up as unhealthy overall.

I think you'll find that for vegetarians, this stuff is a non-starter -- it's still meat. The fact that it's a lab experiment is even creepier.

i'll second that (2, Interesting)

subtropolis (748348) | about 9 years ago | (#13338995)

There are several reasons why i'm vegetarian, and a couple of them have simply to do with how many animals are raised. Vat-meat surely avoids the cruelty of penned-up animals but the idea of meat which literally just sits there as it grows is really unappealing. If i were to eat meat, i'd prefer it to be free-range. It can only be healthier.

What about vegetarians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338834)

For those vegetarians who support stem cell research, how can there be any ethical complaint about this kind of meat?

Of course, there are many excellent reasons to be vegetarian. (Health, nutrition, efficient use of resources, etc.) This doesn't mean vegetarians have to start eating meat.

But I would love to hear what the militant PETA-types who say 'meat is murder' have to say about this!

Re:You Insensitive Clod!... (1)

gsasha (550394) | about 9 years ago | (#13338942)

I happen to actually have asked a couple of vegetarians on this issue, and the answer was almost invariably that if no animal was killed for it, they'd have no problem eating it.

Still, that depends. I know one vegetarian who wouldn't eat meat because of her Buddhist background - and the fact that the meat is artificial wouldn't probably help her with it.

Official "DUPE" Thread (2, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 9 years ago | (#13338753)

For the benefit of my fellow Slashdotters, here is a place to whine about dupe articles. To wit:

Large Scale Production of Artificial Meat
Posted by timothy on Wed Jul 06, '05 02:27 PM
from the vat-meat-cometh dept.
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/0 6/1737228&tid=191&tid=14 [slashdot.org]

Fraser Cain writes "Scientists at the University of Maryland think that large quantities of artificial meat (link: http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/artificial _meat_grown.html [universetoday.com] ) could be produced to supply the world with animal-free meat products, like chickenless nuggets. This is based on experiments for NASA (link: http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/03/22/fish .food/index.html [cnn.com] ), that created small amounts of fish protein cultured from single cells. According to the researchers, larger quantities could be grown in thin sheets and then stacked up to create thickness. Of course, they need to figure out a way to exercise it to make it taste like regular meat."

Re:Official "DUPE" Thread (-1, Offtopic)

TheLoneCabbage (323135) | about 9 years ago | (#13338796)

Can I mod CmdTaco down for posting "Redundant" material?

Re:Official "DUPE" Thread (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 9 years ago | (#13338923)

Of course, they need to figure out a way to exercise it to make it taste like regular meat.

I hope that on my space ship, we have a separate module for the large sheets of twitching synthetic meat. I mean, that's just going to be ugly.

GizMag (5, Funny)

SpaceAdmiral (869318) | about 9 years ago | (#13338756)

I guess Giz Mag doesn't mean what I thought it did.

we need healthy burgers/fries/chips (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338761)


because they taste so good nobody will give them upo but at the moment they are bad for you, if someone could invent junk food that is actually healthy for us, the world would be a better place

Re:we need healthy burgers/fries/chips (1)

rajafarian (49150) | about 9 years ago | (#13338989)

Hey anon, I think that junk food that is actually healthy for us is not junk food.

Whats with the Spin (5, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | about 9 years ago | (#13338762)

of the summary? If it tastes the same, i would have zero problems with artificial meat.
I dont actually enjoy having animals slaughtered just for fun.

Re:Whats with the Spin (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338833)

of the summary? If it tastes the same, i would have zero problems with artificial meat. I dont actually enjoy having animals slaughtered just for fun.

They are not slaughtered for fun. They are slaughtered for food.

Re:Whats with the Spin (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 9 years ago | (#13338950)

"I dont actually enjoy having animals slaughtered just for fun."

But that's what makes it so DAMNED DELICIOUS!!

And I think by "fun" you meant "food".

Re:Whats with the Spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338979)

You and the poster above you are mistaken. It actualy is for fun. For food there would be more efficient ways than meat. It is for the taste, i.e. for the fun.

First step toward replication food? (2, Funny)

tamuct01 (726718) | about 9 years ago | (#13338770)

I wonder if this will be one of the first steps toward protein resequencers and eventually food replicators. Star Trek, here I come!

Re:First step toward replication food? (1)

cnettel (836611) | about 9 years ago | (#13338877)

Well, replication is energy-into-matter, at least it's generally described to be like that. Getting good at growing the things in cell cultures is really a totally different approach to the "how to create food" problem.

Is it sentient? (1)

amstrad (60839) | about 9 years ago | (#13338775)

Let's hope the meat isn't sentient meat [terrybisson.com]

Re:Is it sentient? (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | about 9 years ago | (#13338967)

Given that they're starting with just a small amount of muscle, it'll be no more sentient than your hair or fingernails, or the grass in my yard...

can it be shaped? (1, Interesting)

brenddie (897982) | about 9 years ago | (#13338776)

guess what im gonna shape mine like ....
like my meat

Looks like meat (3, Funny)

ralph_the_wonder_lla (582153) | about 9 years ago | (#13338779)

"Looks like meat, tastes like meat, I'll bet there isn't any meat in here. Doubleplusgood!" - 1984

w00t! (4, Insightful)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | about 9 years ago | (#13338782)

In the future, I see no more grissle or stringy bits of fat etc. Cheapest meat will taste like the best eye fillet you can buy, and nothing had to die.

Re:w00t! (5, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | about 9 years ago | (#13338886)

Yes, just like artificial sweeteners taste like the finest quality cane sugar or honey. Truly an age of marvels we live in.

Re:w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338917)

... that is, if you can get past the aftertaste of Aspartame or (even worse) Splenda.

To hell with that, I'll kill the animal myself if I have to.

Centrallized food production is futuristic? (2, Insightful)

plehmuffin (846742) | about 9 years ago | (#13338784)

this sounds like a mixed blessing, and brings about visions of some sterile, Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority

That's what we have now [wikipedia.org]

root@localhost, no password ... erm... (-1, Offtopic)

everphilski (877346) | about 9 years ago | (#13338786)

unable to connect to database (user: root@localhost, using password=false)

-everphilski-

Society of people scared of acne... (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#13338787)

Carne-Matic aside, this sounds like a mixed blessing, and brings about visions of some sterile, Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority, and real, hoof-grown meat is a rare delicacy.

It's truly sickening to me the lengths that people go these days to ruin their eating experiences. Too many restaurants refuse to cook meat anything under "medium" - hell I'll sign a waiver to eat a burger medium rare! Too many people crinkle their nose unless you cook their meat to shoe leather and someone even asked me if I should be rushed to the hospital because my steak was "too pink".

All the fears in the world about animal borne disease (avian flu, mad cow disease, etc) have spawned even more "illness psychos" who are obsessed with the latest in 99.9% bacteria free soaps, hand lotions, and air filters. We are breeding a population of individuals that are more susceptible to illness than ever before!

Eat that fucking natural meat and cook it rare. When you are making some hamburger, wad up a ball, add some pepper and salt and eat it. I've done it since I was a kid and never had any ill effects.

I am beginning to enjoy food less and less (especially out here in the Midwest where they have no tastebuds) and bullshit like this will only make it worse. Sadly, people will love it... See, no bacteria - especially when I cook it till it's charcoal.

Blah.

Re:Society of people scared of acne... (5, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 9 years ago | (#13338874)

Damn dude, that's fucking nasty. Seriously.

Why not just walk up to a cow and take a bite out of their shoulder? It amounts to the same thing.

Man invented fire for a reason.

Re:Society of people scared of acne... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338996)

i have to agree
i prefer that the Chef actually understands what "cook" means
if there is blood and redness still in your meat then it ain't cooked properly, i guess that concept still escapes a lot of people

Re:Society of people scared of acne... (1)

mrRay720 (874710) | about 9 years ago | (#13338900)

Your concerns over an increasingly illness susceptible population are so true that it hurts.

Add to what you've said increasing abuse of steroids etc for dealing with trivial illnesses - ensuring that only those immune to it survive and spread, and non-mandatory disease control such as innoculations, and we have a wonderful population mix. Some going the extra mile to weed out the weaker strains giving us whole new generations of superbugs, and the other half ensuring that we have a population ripe for it to spread through.

****ing morons. We wiped out smallpox well enough, along with rabies (where I live anyway) and similar a generation or two ago but we appear to have not only failed to learn the lesson from them, but instead are doing our best to make things worse.

Most diseases with us today could be properly eradicated if we actually wanted to.

Do the right thing today - feed your child some filthy dirt.

Re:Society of people scared of acne... (1)

Morinaga (857587) | about 9 years ago | (#13338990)

You have obviously never had one of those "hotdogs" from a corner stand in Tijuana.

You know, not like I have or anything...

Taco Bell (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338789)

Taco Bell has meat made out of used napkins and sauce, so I don't really see how this is a big deal.

Soylent Green is people! (2, Funny)

N8F8 (4562) | about 9 years ago | (#13338790)

...is brought to you by Soylent red and Soylent yellow, high energy vegetable concentrates, and new, delicious, Soylent green. The miracle food of high-energy plankton gathered from the oceans of the world.

The seas are dying, bork bork bork! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338868)

Soylent purple is Muppets! [matthewbarr.co.uk] MUUUUUUUUUPPPPETTTTTS! [zonalibre.org]

Re:Soylent Green is people! (5, Funny)

andreMA (643885) | about 9 years ago | (#13338893)

Ah yes.

Soylent Green. It's who's for dinner.

Obligitory futurama reference (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 9 years ago | (#13338988)

I'll have the soylent green with a slice of soylent orange and some soylent coleslaw.

Dammit (1, Funny)

Bitmanhome (254112) | about 9 years ago | (#13338793)

So I gotta hire a pastamancer now?

Quality Control (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 9 years ago | (#13338795)

It'll take forever for this to become practical on a mass scale, but...

1.) Ability to control nutrients that go into meat -- Good thing.
2.) Ability to prevent salmonella poisoning from ever occurring in the general population in the far-off future -- Better.

Coming in my pants... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338802)

First poost!! I win!

where's the beef? (-1, Offtopic)

ghukov (854181) | about 9 years ago | (#13338808)

LMAO... /.'d already
Unable to connect to DB - Too many connections
time to beef up teh servers

In other words: Tofu - (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338809)

another white meat!

Why does it seem appropriate... (1)

mikeophile (647318) | about 9 years ago | (#13338815)

that a site called Gizmag would be telling me about the coming of man-made meat?

Reminds me of SNL... (1)

op12 (830015) | about 9 years ago | (#13338821)

They had a sketch about the "sequel" to Soylent Green, Soylent Green 2, with Phil Hartman:

"Soylent green is STILL made out of people, . . . they didn't change the recipe like they said they were going to! It's still PEOPLE! " - Phil Hartman as Charleton Heston in the never-before-seen "Soylent Green 2".

Where meat is everywhere, it is nowhere? (4, Interesting)

KingPrad (518495) | about 9 years ago | (#13338826)

"The article mentions meat makers as home appliances. Carne-Matic aside, this sounds like a mixed blessing, and brings about visions of some sterile, Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority, and real, hoof-grown meat is a rare delicacy."

Yeah, because I know all my home appliances are controlled by the government. I get a Toaster Use Coupon every Tuesday in the mail so I can use the toaster 3 times a week between the hours of 4-6 PM. Thank god for the central authority.

I don't see what the problem is. If the meat tastes like meat and has roughly the same protein and calorie content but costs much less then this can only be a good thing, right? Maybe we won't need to raise millions of cows just for meat production and we can change some of the food crop over to something more useful like grains.

I just don't understand how being able to synthesize food in every home in America means there would suddenly be a shortage of non-synthesized food, strictly controlled by the government.

Right, which brings another question: (1)

conJunk (779958) | about 9 years ago | (#13338930)

Can anyone still be vegetarian if the meat is synthetic? The ethical [peta.org] and environmental [goveg.com] reasons go straight out the window if it grows on trees or in a steel box.

the good & the bad (2, Insightful)

Unsus (901072) | about 9 years ago | (#13338828)

While this could help with hunger in third-world countries, I would imagine most other people would reject it as "Franklin' Nuggets". It'll be interesting to see PETA's stance, since those type of people tend to also be against artificially created food (and even genetic engineering).

Re:the good & the bad (1)

ChrisF79 (829953) | about 9 years ago | (#13338926)

Assuming the ingredients are readily available and cheap.

Already got the Control (1)

Flamesplash (469287) | about 9 years ago | (#13338835)

Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority

Uh, FDA? USDA?

Good and Bad (0)

copeland3300 (889992) | about 9 years ago | (#13338836)

I was reading about this in a magazine the other day and thought the following: this idea is both good and bad. The good part of it is that it stops animals from suffering just to feed humans. It allows large amounts of meat to be produced from a few animals, which don't even have to die. Additionally, it could help solve the problem of poor people being hungry. If the technology could be developed in such a way that it can be used in remote areas, then much of the world's hunger problems would go away. The bad parts of the technology could be that diseases could spread fast. If the industry becomes unregulated, then could be possible for cheaper companies to cut costs and use lower grade meats "seeds" which could be diseased. Additionally, I don't think that the meat would taste the same. The fact that the muscles are worked when in use by the animal, I think, would contribute to the taste of the meat. Overall I think this is a good technology, and there are more uses for it than I think they realize. One great thing about it is that it could help feed lots of hungry people without using huge amounts of already scarce grazing land. I'm a bit skeptical about it, but if it works, then I'm all for it. Especially if it tastes good :)

Who cares about meat??? (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#13338837)

I want the Lie detector glasses! [gizmag.co.uk]

Some of the text of the article (as we have managed to make the site go KAAABOOOM!)

A new lie detection technology promises remarkable benefits in determining whether people are telling you the truth IN REAL TIME. The technology is already being tested in a wide variety of applications such as anti-terrorism, law enforcement, and insurance claim assessment and has even been built into a pair of glasses with internal LED lights which will run a real-time analysis of conversations of the wearer, reporting on the veracity of the person the wearer is speaking to with a claimed accuracy of better than 95%.

Slashdot submitter comments are made of STUPID! (5, Interesting)

SB9876 (723368) | about 9 years ago | (#13338838)

Opposed to what, a sterile, buisness-suited present where food production is controlled by large corporations who are more concerned about the bottom line than the welfare of either the customers or the animals used to make the food?

Decentralized 'meat' production where there's no suffering involved, the risk of dangerous bacterial contamination from slaughterhouse processing is gone, the consumer has moer direct control over what antibiotics and hormones, if any, go into their meat is such an Orwellian idea.

Since when did it become required in /. that every submitter comment try and pass off a technological innovation as being Orwellian/reckless/sinister with some sort of boneheaded Luddite comment?

2 ways this could pan out imo (2, Insightful)

Zunni (565203) | about 9 years ago | (#13338840)

Well, I see two ways of this going

1) Meat quality increasing and price decreasing (since anyone can "grow" their own) thereby leading to more healthy eating which would be the utopian way

OR

2) The demand for meat overtaking the quantity that can realistically be produced and thereby allowing a few people to grow/sell meat for a huge profit, thereby increasing the cost.

What this all hinges on of course is if they make this technology available to the everyday person in their home.

I'm curious (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | about 9 years ago | (#13338842)

Where exactly did you get the idea that the meat you were eating now was somehow natural?

Carbon Sink Your Teeth Into (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#13338844)

I'd love to see meat machines sucking CO2 and CH4 out of the air, generating proteins for humans to eat. Every McDonalds burgur (they're fake anyway) represents hundreds of pounds of Greenhouse gases pumped into the air from petro fuels, fertilizers and pesticides. If this machine were made energy-efficient, it could cut out tremendous waste of both energy and exhaust. Like a solar oven that literally makes its own sauce. Carbon sequestration [wikipedia.org] that tastes better than pine forests.

why the distopia? (4, Informative)

RayBender (525745) | about 9 years ago | (#13338854)

this sounds like a mixed blessing, and brings about visions of some sterile, Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority, and real, hoof-grown meat is a rare delicacy

Jeez, lighten up. There are plenty of technologically-induced distopias to worry about. This one ranks near the bottom of the list. First of all, food is pretty much already controlled by a central authority (ADM anyone?). Besides, have you ever been inside an abattoir, or within 5 miles of an industrial hog farm? The idea of eating meat without killing cows (and mad cow disease!) seems pretty good to me.

If you absolutely must freak about technology, worry about what happens when your health insurance company can do genetic screening on you. The go watch GATTACA.

Hooray (2, Insightful)

capillary tube (861062) | about 9 years ago | (#13338858)

I approve of this, as the meats' being synthetic may remove certain taboos currently in the way of good eatins. I'll be first in line at my area's new Manburger stand.

"Soylent Green" (1)

jangobongo (812593) | about 9 years ago | (#13338862)

I'm not too sure people are going to line up to buy Carn-o-matics. There may be an insurmountable psychological barrier to getting people even try meat grown in a lab/machine. It sounds kinda disgusting and maybe it's because I have seen "Soylent Green".

I could, however, see this as a useful thing as an aid in sending humans into space. What better for long trips than a self-generating source of protein.

Re:"Soylent Green" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338961)

You mean, like *more* disgusting than something that came out of a mammal?

Re:"Soylent Green" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338978)

If you think about it, it's no more disgusting than slaughtering a cow and eating slices of its carcass.

Wait... (2, Interesting)

Eric S. Smith (162) | about 9 years ago | (#13338863)

where food production is controlled by some central authority

Unless you grow it yourself, this is already effectively the case, isn't it? If you're not making a deliberate effort to the contrary, the bulk of the food you eat is likely to come from large operations and national chains.

Spoiler warning! (0)

jdavidb (449077) | about 9 years ago | (#13338876)

Remember, Soylent Green is people!

Augh! Now you've ruined the ending for me!

But... (1)

phozz bare (720522) | about 9 years ago | (#13338879)

...would it be Kosher?

and if so, Pareve or Fleishik?

Think of the possibilities! :)

-phozz

Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338884)

Academic Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale

August 16, 2005 Experiments for NASA space missions have shown that small amounts of edible meat can be created in a lab. But the technology that could grow chicken nuggets without the chicken, on a large scale, may not be just a science fiction fantasy. In a recent paper in the Tissue Engineering journal, a team of scientists has proposed two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown - meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat. "There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," says University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.

"Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat."

Prime Without the Rib

The idea of culturing meat is to create an edible product that tastes like cuts of beef, poultry, pork, lamb or fish and has the nutrients and texture of meat.

Scientists know that a single muscle cell from a cow or chicken can be isolated and divided into thousands of new muscle cells. Experiments with fish tissue have created small amounts of in vitro meat in NASA experiments researching potential food products for long-term space travel, where storage is a problem.

"But that was a single experiment and was geared toward a special situation - space travel," says Matheny. "We need a different approach for large scale production."

Matheny's team developed ideas for two techniques that have potential for large scale meat production. One is to grow the cells in large flat sheets on thin membranes. The sheets of meat would be grown and stretched, then removed from the membranes and stacked on top of one another to increase thickness.

The other method would be to grow the muscle cells on small three-dimensional beads that stretch with small changes in temperature. The mature cells could then be harvested and turned into a processed meat, like nuggets or hamburgers.

Treadmill Meat

To grow meat on a large scale, cells from several different kinds of tissue, including muscle and fat, would be needed to give the meat the texture to appeal to the human palate.

"The challenge is getting the texture right," says Matheny. "We have to figure out how to 'exercise' the muscle cells. For the right texture, you have to stretch the tissue, like a live animal would."

Where's the Beef?

And, the authors agree, it might take work to convince consumers to eat cultured muscle meat, a product not yet associated with being produced artificially.

"On the other hand, cultured meat could appeal to people concerned about food safety, the environment, and animal welfare, and people who want to tailor food to their individual tastes," says Matheny. The paper even suggests that meat makers may one day sit next to bread makers on the kitchen counter.

"The benefits could be enormous," Matheny says. "The demand for meat is increasing world wide -- China 's meat demand is doubling every ten years. Poultry consumption in India has doubled in the last five years.

"With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply. And you could do it in a way that's better for the environment and human health. In the long term, this is a very feasible idea."

Matheny saw so many advantages in the idea that he joined several other scientists in starting a nonprofit, New Harvest, to advance the technology. One of these scientists, Henk Haagsman, Professor of Meat Science at Utrecht University, received a grant from the Dutch government to produce cultured meat, as part of a national initiative to reduce the environmental impact of food production.

SPACE MEAT: Obligatory Invader Zim reference (2, Insightful)

millennial (830897) | about 9 years ago | (#13338889)

SPACE MEAT!
Well, it all started in 1962... Utilizing advances in modern food synthesis, scientists at NASA began work on a germ hostile space meat to be used into long expeditions in deep space! Only recently has their hard work paid off. As even more advances in the field of space meat have been made and applied to what is now known as operation meat. Seeing this as a way to end their streak of being sued by angry costumers poisoned by their burgers, the Mac Meaties corporation decided to try this miraculous space meat. Not having access to that technology, we make ours out of napkins.

Religious Implications (5, Interesting)

Erwos (553607) | about 9 years ago | (#13338894)

A Muslim co-worker and I (I'm an Orthodox Jew, for reference) had a brief discussion of whether you could actually eat artificial pork. I'm _reasonably sure_ that under halakha, you could - meat is really defined as something that comes off an animal, and whatever this stuff is, if it doesn't come off an animal, it wouldn't have the halakhic status of meat. He also agreed that Shaaria would _probably_ not have an issue with it, either.

I think the ideological implications are more interesting (fake bacon is one thing, but this...), but those aren't really of any concern on /., methinks.

-Erwos

Arby's? (1)

nxtr (813179) | about 9 years ago | (#13338896)

NASA prolly has never been to Arby's. They've been doing that for years! Same goes for their cheese.

What is wrong with people? (1)

AccUser (191555) | about 9 years ago | (#13338907)

What is wrong with people that they feel that they have to mess with my food so that they can make a bigger profit?

To be honest, I doubt that I will ever have to eat the ultimate in processed food, so I won't get too upset about it, but I wonder about all those less blessed than myself that will have no choice, or are to ignorant to make the choice.

Re:What is wrong with people? (3, Funny)

capillary tube (861062) | about 9 years ago | (#13338977)

God, yes. The last thing we need is the world's poor getting hold of a luxury like meat. I'm personally going to blow my brains out when the first malnourished Somalian takes a bite into that sinful essence of Satan.

callable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338912)

Chicken Little, the immortal chicken tumor, finally comes of age!

The real funny thing here (1)

HundyCougar (732944) | about 9 years ago | (#13338916)

I stayed at a Hotel in the UK called the Solent Green...

Prior Art (4, Funny)

rlp (11898) | about 9 years ago | (#13338927)

They've been serving this stuff in school lunch rooms across the nation for decades! Usually covered with cold greasy brown gravy.

Manwich (3, Interesting)

kpansky (577361) | about 9 years ago | (#13338928)

Excellent. Maybe now we can use some of those stem cells to create man meat. It wouldn't even be cannabalism because stem cells aren't people. Yummy.

yes the whole bass (3, Funny)

uberjoe (726765) | about 9 years ago | (#13338957)

Can I use my Super Bass-O-Matic 76?

oblig (1)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#13338964)

Jasper: Moon Pie! What a time to be alive.

But what about the animals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13338975)

So now we got no reason what ever to keep living animals on this earth?
Have you notis that almost every not eatable animal is dangerus close to being extinct?

Erm (2)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 9 years ago | (#13338983)

brings about visions of some sterile, Spandex-jumpsuit future where food production is controlled by some central authority, and real, hoof-grown meat is a rare delicacy. Remember, Soylent Green is people!

And I thought Slashdot's unlimited, completely baseless paranoia had reached its pinnacle :\

What do you feed your Carne-Matic ? (1)

vnaught (907576) | about 9 years ago | (#13338991)

Perhaps iRobot could combine the Carne-Matic with a Roomba like lawnmower? Cowbot anyone?

Once again /. is a tool of hackers (1)

bigdady92 (635263) | about 9 years ago | (#13338998)

Look what it did to the webpage! Unable to connect to DB - Access denied for user: 'root@localhost' (Using password: NO) OMG DOD IS COMING RUNNZER!

Unable to log in as root? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13339000)

Unable to connect to DB - Access denied for user: 'root@localhost' (Using password: NO)
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