Future Bites

Future Meat, Minus the Animals

Today’s Future Bites brings you the future of meat… maybe.  Here’s Singularity Weblog with the latest on lab-grown animal tissue for human consumption.

Closeup of cow face

courtesy Nick Coomb

The motivation for growing meat flesh in-vitro, without the animal, is many-fold.  After all, growing animals for consumption requires vast amounts of water, grain, fertilizer, land area and oil.  Not to mention generating methane emissions, and a deep thicket of ethical issues around cruelty (careful with that last link).

Whether animal-free meat ever catches on is, of course, an open question.  There’s the considerable obstacle of cost, although that will surely come down once we’re past the research and development phase.  To me, the bigger worry is whether anyone will actually be willing to eat a burger that came out of a lab.  Then again, if slaughterhouses, pink slime and Taco Bell aren’t enough to turn people off of meat… maybe no one really cares where their burger came from.

What do you think – would you ever eat a lab-grown burger?

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3 thoughts on “Future Meat, Minus the Animals

  1. This topic gives me pause. True, logic suggests that laboratory-raised animal tissue could be a valid large-scale protein source for humans. However this makes me wonder why we don’t just shift to plant-based protein sources that are shaped and flavored to resemble some of the meat sources that feel familiar to us. Food choices have always been culturally influenced, so any one set of choices is not fundamental to human life. Plant-based proteins have been the longest lasting choice of humans throughout history. Today’s focus on animal protein is recent and might be seen as an late 20th and early 21st century triumph of agribusiness marketing.

    • I agree! An entirely meatless future is more sustainable and quite logical. This position, however, would greatly upset a lot of bacon-lovers I know.

      • bacon — just the smell of sizzling bacon – does make the meatless argument more challenging. However the soy-based version is good, although not quite as good as the animal protein version, I must admit.

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