Government Cheese

Because They Are Poisoning Us

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Location: The Dominion of Canuckistan

I'm just another self-important loudmouth polluting the blogosphere...You?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Meat Me in the Lab

…and see what’s on the slab

OK. Scientists think they are able to grow small amounts of meat in a lab. Without the animal. Just the meat.

Imagine a Petri dish full of cloned beef which can simply be plopped onto a bun. Yikes.

What do the butchers think about this? What about kosher butchers? Is kosher a genetic determination? Find the perfect kosher specimen and simply clone its flesh for centuries. Sounds like a union grievance waitin’ to happen.

Sci-Fi Reality

There is a movie out this summer called The Island about a colony of cloned people who don’t know they’re clones. They are waiting around for their original progenitors to need a kidney or liver or cornea. It looks like a remake of a B-movie I saw at a drive-in back in the ‘70s called Clone.

The new version looks better, (not a difficult achievement), but the story’s the same: Rich people form a secret company that takes care of their clones at some sort of camp-slash-lab.

There’s another ‘70s movie (am I dating myself?)
called Coma in which a similar secret lab kept brain-dead people alive in a morbid organ farm.

One can’t help but think of these movies, these science fiction movies about humans that are farmed for their organs and tissue, when one reads of this proposed meat farm.

No, not farm as in farm,

...but farm as in lab.

Gnarly. With a G.

The Sick, Sad Truth

So. Aside from the moral implications, how is this healthy?

Well, for starters student Jason Matheny thinks they’ll be able to manipulate the meat to produce a healthier food:

"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.”

Forgive me from asking this seemingly simple question of a doctoral candidate, Jason, but, can’t we control the nutrients now? By feeding livestock their natural diet, grass, we produce such a healthy meat. It is only through the corner-cutting of agri-business that we produce cows that are too fat and too slow and too full of Omega 6 fatty acids.

Sorry, Jason, but controlling the nutrients is not exclusive to “in vitro” meat.

If you’ve got the time, here’s a journal article in a PDF format.

The sad part is that this scenario will probably become reality someday. The sick part is that it will be widely accepted.

There is one glimmer of hope:

“The paper even suggests that meat makers may one day sit next to bread makers on the kitchen counter.”

That’s a good omen: My bread machine got retired and put in permanent basement storage years ago.