Thursday, December 13, 2007

get used to victimless meat

back in 2005 the University of Maryland reported:

In a paper in the June 29 issue of Tissue Engineering, a team of scientists, including University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, propose two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown -- meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.

"There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," says Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.

"Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat."

"healthy planet", "earth-wise", "living earth friendly foods for a humane future". I'm sure the large food processors are readying labels like these for the new lab grown "victimless meat" that will become available within the next five years. grown from single cells in nutrient baths and exercised by electroshock into lean, tender steaks, this "meat" will be less expensive, guilt free and available at walmart. "no animals were harmed in the production of this meat" says the fine print.

the "ewww!" factor of eating franken-foods, these GMO artificial life forms will be overcome because in the long run, surprisingly, it's the right thing to do. and the market will demand it. why?...

Barbara Kingsolver describes an idyllic coexistence with nature by relying on local grown foods in "animal, vegetable, miracle" (instead of the current system of shipping everything around the world via cheap oil), but face it -- with the world's population what it is and will be, we need more efficient means of producing high quality protein for hungry omnivores.

But I know I'm not even close to being able to grow my own food and raise poultry enough to keep my family fed -- not without major lifestyle changes, and even then the prospects seem so daunting I would try it only out of desparation. basic biology describes how much grain and oil is required to produce a pound of consumer beef and guess what - it's too much.

so sooner or later, just as non-embryonic therapeutic cloning cures will be accepted by your HMO, sure as shootin' biotech meat is coming to your local McDonalds.

the reality is, people don't care ~that~ much anyway. if they did, would they put up with the warehoused cruelty imposed on livestock today (you've seen the KFC chicken video right)? they do put up with it because "that's just the way it has to be done". anyway, I'd prefer meat not laced with hormones and antibiotics. who knows, maybe McD's could sneak in this new meat, serve it to an unsuspecting public, leak out the truth, weather the brouhaha and come out ahead as a forward thinking company when people realize the stuff's not bad tasting and better overall than traditionally grown meat... and much better than soylent green :)

science attempts to produce victimless meat
factoids from the mad cowboy
a bicyclist's perspective on the wastefulness of beef

just kidding! because the beef industry says that inefficiency claim is just a myth

Friday, December 07, 2007

truth or dare: the blogroll challenge UPDATE

I try not to waste time, so when I needed to delete a comment from my last post I disabled showing all comments on it. because blogger does not obviously enough explain how one can delete a single comment -- which is what I wanted to do and I am too lazy, impatient and proud (qualities of a really useful programmer) to play blogger's game and search for the proper way. I still want to know how though. anyone gotta clue?