Vat grown meat – pros and cons

This is a pretty good introduction to the issues surrounding vat grown meat. We covered a lot of this in the food session at Cyborgcamp, which was my favorite session. I’m in favor of vat grown meat, if it can be cleanly manufactured and reasonably safe.

In the “pro” column, vat grown meat may:

Be tasty. The yuck factor may be temporary and overblown. PETA co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told me that she attempted to serve vegetarian hot dogs at a baseball game in Virginia just 12 years ago. The baseball fans recoiled and reached for the real ones. “Do you know what’s in a real hot dog?” she asked in disbelief. “Pigs anuses, bits of their inner snouts, nipples, tail, and fecal matter?” The point is that a food’s acceptance is cultural. “So it’s not really that there’s a grossness factor [to test-tube meat],” she insists. “It’s a visceral reaction to something new. A new generation will come along and not believe that generations before them actually ate the decomposing corpses of tortured animals.”

Be no less natural than, say, yogurt, cheese, or bread, which, according to a New Harvest FAQ, “all involve processing ingredients derived from natural sources. 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.”

Full Story: Grist

(via Dysnomia)

Scientists Flesh Out Plans to Grow (and Sell) Test Tube Meat

In five to 10 years, supermarkets might have some new products in the meat counter: packs of vat-grown meat that are cheaper to produce than livestock and have less impact on the environment.

According to a new economic analysis (.pdf) presented at this week’s In Vitro Meat Symposium in As, Norway, meat grown in giant tanks known as bioreactors would cost between $5,200-$5,500 a ton (3,300 to 3,500 euros), which the analysis claims is cost competitive with European beef prices.

Full Story: Wired

(via Grinding)

Lab grows living leather jacket

Awesome! *I’m* not grossed out by this.

A “living” jacket grown from mouse and human bone cells. The cells used, which are applied to a biodegradeable polymer base, come from “immortalized” cell lines–i.e., cells that divide and multiply forever once they are removed from an animal or human host (without harm or hurt); they are a renewable resource, if you will. The goal of the “semi-living” jacket is to create “victimless” leather. Currently, the jacket is still so tiny (it’s about 2 inches high and 1-and-a-half inches wide) it could only fit a mouse.

Treehugger: Tissue Culture’s “Victimless” Leather Jacket

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