Laboratory-grown meat has arrived … but the demand, not so much — MSN

From MSN news:

Just think... meat for which no animal will have suffered and died! Photo: MSN

“As time moves forward the world faces crisis after crisis, food shortages among the greatest of these shortages. Dr. Vladimir Mironov of the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina has the solution: Grow it in a lab.

Sounds like something out of a dystopian futuristic sci-fi novel, doesn’t it?

But just think about it–if we’re going to hit 7 billion people in 2012 and there are already food shortages around the world then we are going to need to come with solutions pretty quickly here. But so many people can’t get over the yuck factor that Dr. Mironov can’t get funding for his lab. Dr. Mironov says that it would cost about $1 billion dollars to bring the product on the market.

The meat is created by taking myoblasts from an animal and bathing them in a protein rich nutrient bath made of bovine serum, and then it grows in thin layers. In the future they plan to add a vascular system which will allow for thick slabs of meat like steaks because the vascular system will bring the inner meat oxygen to grow. Fascinatingly enough, Dr. Mironov claims that they can produce any meat, give it meaty texture just like ‘naturally’ grown meat, and that they can even flavor the meat differently depending on your tastes. They can even add fat to a meat to make it more traditional….”

From the Reuters story the above post is based on:

“….If wine is produced in winery, beer in a brewery and bread in a bakery, where are you going to grow cultured meat?

In a “carnery,” if Mironov has his way. That is the name he has given future production facilities.

He envisions football field-sized buildings filled with large bioreactors, or bioreactors the size of a coffee machine in grocery stores, to manufacture what he calls “charlem” — “Charleston engineered meat.”

“It will be functional, natural, designed food,” Mironov said. “How do you want it to taste? You want a little bit of fat, you want pork, you want lamb? We design exactly what you want. We can design texture.

“I believe we can do it without genes. But there is no evidence that if you add genes the quality of food will somehow suffer. Genetically modified food is already normal practice and nobody dies.”…”

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Laboratory-grown meat has arrived … but the demand, not so much — MSN

  1. cheryl

    A Brave New World crossed with recombinate genes from Soylent Green!
    2 nightmares for the price of 1!
    Starving people will eat whatever is available, so there will be a captive audience for this product.
    I got shivers the other day when a 20 something newscaster said “Food is made in factories”.
    This generation already thinks that it is normal to get food out of a factory, like where else could it come from? They are already primed and ready to chow down on that vat grown meat fresh from the laboratory.
    What will they call the new sandwiches, Frankenstein on a raft with mayo?
    Have we come to the place where our children believe that factories make food? Kids who have never seen a farm, not in a movie, not in a book, or on Facebook. (I watched the Wizard of Oz last night, that farm only had pigs and chickens, no plants! And the apples were growing wild!)
    Have too many of us forgotten how to grow things from seed, that seeds become full grown plants?
    Have we become so helpless that EVERYTHING must be made for us in some factory somewhere?
    Food, clothing, furniture, dishes, medicine, will sunlight and air be next?
    Bad enough most people can’t or never learned to cook!
    If they can’t buy it someplace, what ever will they do?
    At this rate it won’t take much to push our society over the edge of doom!

  2. Michael of Queensland

    I’d rather food be made in a factory than another hundred square kilometers of the Matto Grosso ploughed under for soy beans or another hundred square kilometers of pristine rainforest flattened and replaced with oil palms.

  3. miguel

    Do they make the “bovine serum” artificially or is it taken from a bovine?

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