A Meaty Question


Already dubbed “Frankenburger” and “Googleburger” ( $325,000 in funding came from Google co-founder Sergey Brin), the world’s first test tube “meat” was seasoned, fried, and served as a hamburger to food critics in London today. Calling it “meat” is a bit of a stretch – more like muscle tissue grown from the stem cells of cows. Lacking fat, think of it as strands of protein. Grown in the lab of Mark Post at Maastricht University of the Netherlands, test tube “meat” has me pondering. Post is the first to admit meat farming is a long way off, stating it could be at least 10 years before the world could witness practical applications.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-science-meat-in-vitro-idUSBRE9740PL20130805

Staggering as those applications and benefits may be – inexhaustible food source not dependant on climate for feed or water supplies, produced without antibiotics, no possibility of contamination such as e-coli, freeing up land for the production of other food crops – there is still one burning question I can’t get out of my head. What do vegetarians think? Would they eat “meat” if it hadn’t once been able to bat eyelashes at them?

This is a serious question, one I’m unable to answer. All I have to go on is my vegetarian interactions. I’ve been told “I don’t eat anything that’s been alive”, meat producers are unethical, animals raised for slaughter endure deplorable conditions, and antibiotics added to animal feed are dangerous to your health. They way I see it – none of the above apply to test tube protein.

Certain the answer to my question will be a resounding NO from the meatless crowd proves interesting;,  I can’t say  I blame them, the thought of test tube meat hardly makes my mouth water. Perhaps Mark Post should redirect his efforts towards test tube bacon. Bacon is a powerful meat, stripped of ethical objections I wonder if vegetarians would cave. Any thoughts?

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