Someone sent me a link to the InVitroMeat Foundation, a european organization dedicated to the idea that cultured meat (or pseudoflesh, as Frank Herbert put it), is just what we need.
To produce 1 kg of beef requires approx. 6 kg of vegetable feed and no less than 7,000 kg of water. Besides, only a fraction of the slaughtered animal can be used for meat consumption, leaving the rest of the carcass as “waste” (with all the problems that entails)...
The above-mentioned problems will make themselves felt even stronger in the near future as worldwide meat production supply will dramatically fall short of demand generated by an exponentially growing world population. Alternatives such as organic farming and vegetable meat substitutes are not sufficient to eradicate the global problem outlined above.
There is a strong need for a radical change, for an industrial, sustainable approach to the meat production process, one which does not generate any of these problems. The Vitro meat technology is based on the principle that meat production, which has always been “in-vivo” (i.e. in the form of livestock), can now take place “ex-vivo” (so without the use of livestock), in a scientific and economically totally viable way on the basis of newly developed stem cell technology, with all the positive results that that entails.
Using animal embryonic stem cells, the Vitro meat technology produces, on an industrial scale, healthy, genetically completely unmodified, high-quality, safe meat for human consumption.
Stalwart science fiction writers like H. Beam Piper were preparing us for this future almost fifty years ago; take a look at his description of carniculture from his 1961 novel Four-Day Planet.
Margaret Atwood point out that the waste parts of animals can be eliminated. Would you like some ChickieNobs from her 2003 novel Oryx and Crake?
"This is the latest," said Crake.
What they were looking at was a large bulblike object that seemed to be covered with stippled whitish-yellow skin. Out of it came twenty thick fleshy tubes, and at the end of each tube another bulb was growing.
"What the hell is it?" said Jimmy.
"Those are chickens," said Crake. "Chicken parts. Just the breasts, on this one.
(Read more about ChickieNobs)
Take a look at the InVitroMeat Foundation website and find out more.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/24/2008)
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