In Vitro Meat Symposium - Try The Veal!

The In Vitro Meat Symposium has one message for the world - "Try the veal!" Not to mention every other kind of vat-grown meat.

Presenters in As, Norway, claim that meat grown in tanks could be produced as cheaply as $5,000 per ton. That price is quite competitive with beef.

"To produce the meat we eat now, 75 to 95 percent of what we feed an animal is lost because of metabolism and inedible structures like skeleton or neurological tissue," Jason Matheny, a researcher at Johns Hopkins and co-founder of New Harvest.

It looks like the first vat-grown meat products to be commercially available will be ground meats - hamburger, sausage and chicken nuggets. Producing a meat product with a convincingly muscle-like structure will be more difficult, to say nothing of producing a leg of lamb with the bone in it.

There are lots of early examples of vat-grown meat in science fiction; consider Chicken Little from The Space Merchants (1952) and carniculture plants from Four-Day Planet (1961).

I went on telling him about our hydroponic farms, and the carniculture plant where any kind of animal tissue we wanted was grown--Terran pork and beef and poultry, Freyan _zhoumy_ meat, Zarathustran veldtbeest...

Ah, what I wouldn't give for a nice piece of Zarathustrian veldtbeest now that it's grilling season again.

But if you're talking chicken nuggets - and I know you are - you'll want transgenic meat. Margaret Atwood even has a great name for it - ChickieNobs (TM):

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.
(Read more about ChickieNobs)

Find out about the InVitroMeat Foundation, see how the Dutch Growing Pork In Lab and have some Cultured Meat Straight From The Vat. Oh, and don't forget to Print Yourself Some Bacon.

Via Scientists Flesh Out Plans to Grow (and Sell) Test Tube Meat. Thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/15/2008)

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