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Soylent Pink: In Vitro Stem-Cell Pseudo-Pork on the Menu Soon

The future of food has arrived:

Scientists turn stem cells into pork

Call it pork in a petri dish – a technique to turn pig stem cells into strips of meat that scientists say could one day offer a green alternative to raising livestock, help alleviate world hunger, and save some pigs their bacon.

Dutch scientists have been growing pork in the laboratory since 2006, and while they admit they haven’t gotten the texture quite right or even tasted the engineered meat, they say the technology promises to have widespread implications for our food supply.

21st-century cuts of pork.

“If we took the stem cells from one pig and multiplied it by a factor of a million, we would need one million fewer pigs to get the same amount of meat,” said Mark Post, a biologist at Maastricht University involved in the In-vitro Meat Consortium, a network of publicly funded Dutch research institutions that is carrying out the experiments.

Post describes the texture of the meat as sort of like scallop, firm but a little squishy and moist. That’s because the lab meat has less protein content than conventional meat.

Feeling queasy yet?

To dispel any notions that this is some sort of hoax, check out the very real and very sincere Web sites of The In Vitro Meat Consortium and the Orwellianly-named “New Harvest,” a man-made “cultured meat” advocacy group which insists,

Arguably, the production of cultured meat is less unnatural than raising farm animals in intensive confinement systems, injecting them with synthetic hormones, and feeding them artificial diets made up of antibiotics and animal wastes.

Personally, I’m a level-5 vegan — I won’t eat anything that casts a shadow — but even I get the dry-heaves just thinking of the possibility of test-tube meat. …


Read the rest here.

29 Responses to “Soylent Pink: In Vitro Stem-Cell Pseudo-Pork on the Menu Soon”

  1. 1CattusMagnus on Jan 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm:

    Hmmmm . . . . . test tube meat is a little too Brave New World for me, but my husband will be happy: he’s been wanting somebody to grow a chicken breast in a petri-dish for years. This is important science though I think because it can only lead to growing human organs for those in need of a transplant. Still, its creepy as hell.

    I’d like to request that these scientists stop concentrating so much on pork and turn their attention towards growing some veal or foie gras so that calves and ducks don’t have to be tortured for some snobbish meal.

  2. 2Ron L on Jan 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm:

    From the article:
    “The question now arises: Why make this stuff? ”
    Uh, because people like the taste and it might well be cheaper? How about that?
    Sorta like people eat rice and we learned to grow it more quickly and with less effort.

  3. 3Rose on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm:

    Well, sadly we’re going to need it. The activist/PC crowd is killing off fishing, farming, ranching, timber, dogs on beaches, horses on beaches (real animals, unlike those on Disney movies, poop, you see.).

    Somehow in the activist mind, we don’t need to eat “real” food, we must be able to survive on vitamins, or maybe, just maybe, something like this.

  4. 4Incognito on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:57 pm:

    They talk about the possibility of being cheaper if it was several factories making it…

    Think about this scary scenario, all these factories are in China, and because of environmental laws and global warming stuff, no one can raise livestock anymore and so the only meat that can be eaten is the Chinese made genetically engineered faux pork. Because China was able to make it so cheap, they overtook the market and no other countries’ factories could compete with China. Since China now controls the production, a monopoly…China raises price and everyone has to pay the price. Fruits and vegetables are not enough to feed all the people anymore. Chinese made faux pork is now an essential part of protein diet. Since China controls the food of the world..as well as militarily, the world has to follow China’s wishes if it was to eat and survive…

  5. 5Starless on Jan 16, 2010 at 6:05 am:

    Two words, one name: Norman Borlaug. Or possibly better yet, Momofuku Ando. Two people who fundamentally changed whether people starved or not through a singular invention. Another positive aspect to this idea is the ability to keep disease out of the food supply. As I would hope people would understand in this day and age, pigs are the last vector prior to human infection of some really, really nasty diseases.

    Of course, the above assumes that all goes well with this particular invention.

    As a long-time vegetarian, I’ve lost all craving for meat; and besides, there are so many soy-based and gluten-based vegi-meat products on the market now that are so tasty and protein-packed that vegetarians don’t even feel deprived anymore.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… In order to make that statement you really do have to have not eaten real meat for a very, very long time.

  6. 6Beckaholic on Jan 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm:

    If you’re worried about global warming, switch to Kangaroo steaks- Roo farts contain no methane, and they’re the original free-range meat.

  7. 7Incognito on Jan 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm:

    Kangaroo steaks are not kosher…sorry…

  8. 8Ringo the Gringo on Jan 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm:

    I’ve been eating Spam for years, this can’t be much different.

    Fry it up with a couple of eggs and serve with steamed rice and a slice of papaya…

  9. 9Starless on Jan 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm:

    Beckaholic: If you’re worried about global warming, switch to Kangaroo steaks- Roo farts contain no methane, and they’re the original free-range meat.

    And they make you more proficient on the didgeridoo, to boot.

  10. 10Ron L on Jan 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm:

    …vegetarians don’t even feel deprived anymore.Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… In order to make that statement you really do have to have not eaten real meat for a very, very long time.

    Well, nuts and berriess are *good* for you………..
    (and they taste like nuts and berries and I’m no more thrilled than Yogi)

  11. 11pat on Jan 16, 2010 at 10:11 pm:

    Haraam. But everything that does not smack of sanity is.

  12. 12Starless on Jan 17, 2010 at 3:55 am:

    Ron L: Well, nuts and berriess are *good* for you………..
    (and they taste like nuts and berries and I’m no more thrilled than Yogi)

    It seems every time I have a meal with a vegetarian/semi-vegetarian I hear them claim that whatever vaguely meat-shaped piece of vegetable matter they’re eating tastes “just like” or “just as good as” real meat but it never does.

  13. 13pat on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:28 am:

    I clicked on the Level 5 Vegan link………..right to a McDonald’s ad. lol

  14. 14Dianna on Jan 17, 2010 at 11:28 am:

    I like the whole idea of nice, clean, vat-grown meat. Sorry. Further, I’m willing to bet that it will be a lot cheaper as the technology comes on line; whether that’s a great idea, I don’t know.

  15. 15buzzsawmonkey on Jan 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm:

    Dianna: I like the whole idea of nice, clean, vat-grown meat.

    So, vat’s on the menu for tonight?

  16. 16buzzsawmonkey on Jan 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm:

    We need more federal funding for Spam cell research!

  17. 17Starless on Jan 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm:

    This was inevitable.

    “Spam egg sausage and spam.”

  18. 18Dianna on Jan 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm:

    buzzsawmonkey:
    So, vat’s on the menu for tonight?

    Feeling a little sauer, are we?

    buzzsawmonkey:
    So, vat’s on the menu for tonight?

  19. 19Doragoon on Jan 17, 2010 at 10:09 pm:

    This would be great for space travel.

  20. 20Mazz on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:52 am:

    I’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat me first.

    Send in Andrew Zimmern…

  21. 21Fenris on Jan 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm:

    If it tastes good and is cheap, I’ll eat it. Call me a Wal-Mart connoisseur.

    Regardless of taste, there will always be a market for organic, free-range, and “normal” meats. That’s the one advantage of San Francisco’s existence.

  22. 22Ken on Jan 21, 2010 at 12:15 am:

    I don’t know how I feel about this. I don’t eat pork, but even if I did I probably wouldn’t eat this unless I had nothing else to eat.

  23. 23Kryten on Jan 23, 2010 at 5:05 am:

    They were foolish enough to add that term “stem cells”. That’s the berserk button for a lot of people, and as soon as the term pops up reason and logical debate flies out the window. Well it’s nice to know that liberals AND conservatives are against technology that will allow starving people to eat. Now all you nihilists out there who want to destroy such scientific advances remember: you must say “stem cells” as well as “GM”. That way everybody will favour starvation over scientific advance!

  24. 24Anon on Jan 28, 2010 at 12:43 am:

    Most people don’t have the privilege of turning down certain types of food.

  25. 25Love on Jan 28, 2010 at 12:57 am:

    Incognito: noise

    Can somebody say FUD? You created an entirely fictional horrible scenario. How about the real-world factory farming we have right now? It uses unsustainable processes to create inferior food at the cost of massive animal suffering. Lab meat is kind of weird, but I don’t have to be an animal rights activist to find it less horrifying than millions of pigs living their short lives in troughs with inches of clearance, force-fed grain and hormones, pumped full of antibiotics to keep them from getting infected being covered in their own feces before being lined up and killed by an automated metal spike to the head.

  26. 26kmob509 on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm:

    this makes me sick man can not benefit from this except loss of freedom to raise your own pigs monsanto wants the rights to the pigs gene or dna this is bullshit

  27. 27Kryten on Feb 6, 2010 at 5:53 am:

    Me am play gods!

  28. 28Kryten on Feb 6, 2010 at 5:53 am:

  29. 29شات كتابي on Sep 27, 2010 at 11:41 am:

    You can begin by explaining on what basis you consider same-sex marriage to be a “right.”