Yesterday, Los Angeles Times ran a story titled “Petri Dish Certified” which documented the efforts of scientists to develop the technology to grow meat in a lab. Most of the article focused on the health benefits of being able to control the nutritional properties of lab grown meat.
Here’s my favorite quote from the article:
Vladimir Mironov, an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina who co-authored last year’s Tissue Engineering paper, said that in an era of bird flu, mad cow disease, increasing population densities and ambitions to travel to Mars, “tissue-engineered meat is the inescapable future of humanity.”
Meat scientist Killefer does agree on one point: In vitro meat may be perfect for space travel. “It’s just not feasible to take cattle and pigs into space, with all of their associated feed,” he says.
So, um, let me make sure I get this straight. These guys see human beings as capable of traveling to Mars and living there for long periods but can’t imagine them going veg by the time this technology develops? Crazy! The quote did inspire me to write this slogan: Meat, Don’t Leave Earth Without It.
Don’t expect to see the lab meat in your local supermarket anytime soon. It currently costs $1000 to $5000 to produce one pound of cultured flesh. Aside from costs, safety is also an issue. There is also getting the public over the stigma of eating lab grown meat. Mironov states, “Food consumption is a conservative cultural phenomenon. It can take several generations to change.” Tell me about it!
Kudos to DawnWatch for alterting us to this story!