Frankenmeat Edges One Step Closer to Your Fork

by: Heather on 12/01/2009
Posted in: Food

Scientists at Holland's Eindhoven University have successfully cultured meat for the first time. According to The Sunday Times, cells extracted from a live pig were incubated and grown in a laboratory into a sticky muscle mass. From the article:

"You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals," said Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, who is leading the Dutch government-funded research.

Post and his colleagues have so far managed to develop a soggy form of pork and are seeking to improve its texture. "What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue," Post said.

"We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there. This product will be good for the environment and will reduce animal suffering. If it feels and tastes like meat, people will buy it."

The scientists predict that their breakthrough could lead to the availability of laboratory meat within five years. While some embrace the development, others are skeptical.

Citing Eight Ways In-Vitro Meat will Change Our Lives, H+Magazine foresees the success of Frankenburgers, but the comments section of the article tells a different story - readers are concerned about the unnaturalness of "trans ham", the potential unintended health impacts of eating artificial meat, economic repercussions for ranchers, taste issues, and more.

Of course this recent development could cost PETA a cool one million dollars - that's the amount of the prize the controversial animal rights group is offering to the first successful company to bring in-vitro meat to market by June 30, 2012.

We'd like to know what you think. Would you put Frankenmeat on your fork? Or would you rather leave it in the lab? Tell us how you feel in the comments section below.

For less drastic methods of improving animal welfare, check out Building an Ark: 101 Solutions to Animal Suffering.

Building an Ark

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