Stem cells we can ALL agree on

The culture wars rage around embryonic stem cells vs. adult stem cells, there are pluripotent and totipotent cells, there are even cancer stem cells. But here’s a new stem cell technology we can all agree on: steak and burger stems cells! No, it’s not a joke, it’s real. At least that’s what a Dutch researcher says:

(Link) The Dutchman wants to grow a burger, and eventually steaks in laboratories using muscle stem cells, changing meat from a farming process to a factory process. The stem cell is a unique and extraordinary type of cell that can replicate itself several times and split into a number of specialised cell types, such as muscle cells – which can in turn be grown into strips that can be made into a hamburger, and eventually a steak.

It’s about fucking time. First of all, meat produced by animals is inefficient, it takes a lot of carbs and time to convert oats into filet mignon. Secondly, and I say this as an avid meat-eater, I don’t like the thought of raising animals in horrid conditions and killing them by the billions just so that I can have crunchy bacon in the morning or a slice of tender pot roast for dinner. Up to now there’s been no way around it, you either don’t eat meat or you participate, directly or indirectly, in killing animals. I dare say even vegetarians would be down with this idea, if it pans out. OK, that last part was in bad taste.


  1. memsomerville says

    Er…”we can ALL agree on”? Yeah, that’ll be the day in food discussions.

    These are going to be subject to *exactly* the same pushback that other food tech receives. In fact, I’ve seen it already.

    I’ve grown muscle cells in culture, I’m sure it’s feasible. But Greenpeace will smash the lab up if they get wind of this.

  2. says

    I can see greenpeace smashing into a lab and throwing 3/4 lb piles of muscles into the street all the while singing “Born Free”.


  3. Daniel Schealler says

    People get sick from eating meat all the time.

    But you just know that, even if this was to be made to work, the first time someone leaves their synthetic meat out for too long between cooking and refrigerating, there’s going to be an outcry against it..

    Oh: And I’m not sure about Greenpeace getting their knickers in a twist over this. It might be possible from an environmental perspective depending on the waste products. But I think it would be a bit of a stretch for Greenpeace or even PETA to get upset about this idea.

  4. Daniel Schealler says

    Hang on – from the article:

    The animal rights organisation ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) announced that it is giving $1 million to the first company to not only create a synthetic alternative to meat, but launch the product in at least six US states by 2016.

    There you go.

    If PETA is happy with the tech, I think it would definitely be a stretch for Greenpeace to get their knickers in a twist over it.

  5. says

    ….. As long as it leads to me getting an 8 oz, mouth-meltingly tender, “warm red center,” 23 dollar Victoria’s filet for only 10 dollars, I’m totally for it.

    Or a Jack Daniel’s Flat Iron from TGI Friday’s for, oh, let’s say $5.

    (now I’m hungry. damn it.)


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