1

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"A Lab-Grown Burger" - The future of meat?

Answered on September 23, 2014
Created August 06, 2013 at 1:21 AM

A recent NYT article has reported that another milestone for in-vitro meat has been accomplished. For the first time, lab grown meat has been eaten.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/a-lab-grown-burger-gets-a-taste-test.html?ref=science

That being said, it reportedly wasn't very tasty, but even so, its success as something ostensibly safe and edible is significant. The positive connotations in the article are reflected in the comments, and almost all of the highly rated ones were very supportive of this movement.

My question is, what is your opinion on this scientific milestone? Is this truly the future, as many say? Is it inevitable? Many believe that humanity has no choice but adopt something like this to preserve environmental sustainability. Do you agree?

Why would this appeal to the general populace, compared to ancestral, alternative health communities like Paleo?

Related questions:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/101516/whats-your-gut-reaction-to-lab-grown-meat#axzz2b1wWsIsD

http://paleohacks.com/questions/136559/would-you-eat-shmeat

http://paleohacks.com/questions/62977/would-you-eat-synthetic-meat#axzz2b1wWsIsD

http://paleohacks.com/questions/139705/thoughts-on-this-article-about-food-sources-in-20-years#axzz2b9EtS69S

14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

(220)

on August 15, 2013
at 02:09 AM

I never said we didn't have enough period. But that we don't have enough to sustain all of the people who gorge on so much food that could be going to people who actually need food

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 07, 2013
at 08:27 PM

Yeah I'm not saying it's going to be bad for everyone if they can actually produce a lot of it. For example some people going to fast food restaurants who don't really care about the health aspect could eat this stuff, get the same taste, and then there would be more meat for people who do actually want the real thing.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 06, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Same reason why I eat insects.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 06, 2013
at 05:16 PM

Good point, it will probably be nutritionally weaker in a number of ways. Though I know some vegetarians who are excited about this and it may be a better option than a boca burger.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:50 PM

As I understand, they didn't have the stem cells differentiate into fat cells.

736662d9fd6314d426cc6de1896aa045

(175)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:48 PM

UK radio had a reaction from a food expert who tasted the meat ($50k a mouthful - why is it always about the money!). The expert said there was no fat, and all agreed it was bland. I guess they can't grow fat in those conditions?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:31 PM

I eat meat because my ancestors ate meat.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:18 PM

That would make it more natural!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:17 PM

"...don't have enough food or land..." Bullshit.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on August 06, 2013
at 02:11 PM

The issue I see with it is that since it IS "hacked," the people developing it have to manually determine everything that goes into it. As far as I know, we haven't nailed down all the reasons that pastured ruminants seem to be so much better for people then grain-fed (O3 is part of it, but the O3 content of most pastured meat is so small I'd suspect there's more at play), so trying to manually recreate that seems like a long process of trial and error.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:16 PM

You are what you eat. Eat frankenbiopolymer. Become frankenbiopolymer. Even soy protein isolate is more natural than this.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:05 PM

Chicken Little only knows the one thing. The sky is falling. Must.Stop.It.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Oy chicken little comments about overpopulation...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:00 PM

It's hacked meat, customized to each person's dietary needs, probably more "optimal" than any grass-fed product could ever be. That said, it's probably as energy intensive as any CAFO operation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 12:58 PM

Thank goodness we've got dead dinosaurs that we can turn into lab-grown muscle cells. This is simply an extension of the industrialized fossil-fuel centric agriculture.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on August 06, 2013
at 07:56 AM

I suppose one could argue that experimenting with human nutrition is cruelty too.

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13 Answers

3
5f678ffff153bfc8a17ac1ee438c054f

on August 06, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Even non-profits such as Farm Forward and others that oppose factory farming seem to view this as a step in the right direction.

I am very against factory farming, but I think this is terrible! We are moving farther and farther from nature, and it can only make our health worse.

The general populice seem to beleive that the world is hungry because we cannot possibly keep up with the demand, which is true only because our demand is way too high, and food is not equally distributed.

Just as people think it is right to cover our crops with chemicals so that there is more yield. Unfortunately, many people do not look at the bigger picture, just what is on their plate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:16 PM

You are what you eat. Eat frankenbiopolymer. Become frankenbiopolymer. Even soy protein isolate is more natural than this.

2
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 06, 2013
at 04:27 PM

Because so many nutrients are synthesized in the liver and there's no liver involved here, I think that it will probably be lacking a lot of the non-essential nutrients that make meat practically essential for optimal health. Creatine, carnitine, carnosine, etc. Maybe they could take synthetic forms and pump it into the burger? Blah. I just think that this will be an inferior product.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 06, 2013
at 05:16 PM

Good point, it will probably be nutritionally weaker in a number of ways. Though I know some vegetarians who are excited about this and it may be a better option than a boca burger.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 07, 2013
at 08:27 PM

Yeah I'm not saying it's going to be bad for everyone if they can actually produce a lot of it. For example some people going to fast food restaurants who don't really care about the health aspect could eat this stuff, get the same taste, and then there would be more meat for people who do actually want the real thing.

2
14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

on August 06, 2013
at 02:50 AM

I listened to a cover of this study on the radio today. My opinion is, the more "Eco friendly" or "highly sustainable" you get, the more illnesses the average person has a chance of getting. Meat from a lab being the future of food will have very very serious effects on our health, just look at what happened during the beginning of agriculture with a highly sustainable food being the basis of the average diet. With all the governments trying to keep every single human being alive is honestly just making it worse. I mean, the problem is that we don't have enough food or land to sustain what we have now, and making sure the population of the earth keeps growing is definitely not the way to fix it

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:17 PM

"...don't have enough food or land..." Bullshit.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Oy chicken little comments about overpopulation...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:05 PM

Chicken Little only knows the one thing. The sky is falling. Must.Stop.It.

14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

(220)

on August 15, 2013
at 02:09 AM

I never said we didn't have enough period. But that we don't have enough to sustain all of the people who gorge on so much food that could be going to people who actually need food

1
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:30 PM

I love lab burgers! With some tomatoes and organic cheddar! Wait a minute. Oh! I thought you said Lamb, not lab.

0
056556a54fb1bfdaa623fa7cb895bd74

on September 23, 2014
at 11:30 PM

not really, just the future of processed meats such as sausage, lab grown meat cannot compete with steaks, chicken breasts and pork chops

0
056556a54fb1bfdaa623fa7cb895bd74

on September 23, 2014
at 11:30 PM

not really, just the future of processed meats such as sausage, lab grown meat cannot compete with steaks, chicken breasts and pork chops

0
056556a54fb1bfdaa623fa7cb895bd74

on September 23, 2014
at 11:30 PM

not really, just the future of processed meats such as sausage, lab grown meat cannot compete with steaks, chicken breasts and pork chops

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on August 06, 2013
at 04:54 PM

It is all over the British press too. I do not like the sound of it at all. It is made from stem cells. I have no problems with stem cell research - it's a wonderful endeavour with lots of possibilities for all kinds of cures (and you can have after a baby's birth (if you pay) the baby's own stem cell blood stored for the future now in the UK which is worth doing if you can afford it).

However I do not want to eat beef grown like this. It goes too far from nature. We are lucky in the UK that most of our cows eat grass in fields all summer and in winter dry grass so we are not too different from the natural ideal. This development whilst it may help feed the 5 in 6 people on the planet which the planet really could do without and will save money etc is not going to be healthy natural meat. There are lots of things in green veg we do not realise are there and you cannot get from vitamin pills and it will be the same with this meat. Whenever we try to fake something (like artificial cow's milk for babies) we soon realise that it only contains a few of the elements of the natural product and much that is good is missing.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:48 PM

Yes, so a $300K burger is now cheaper than a burger from a cow. Good job science!

This shortage scaremongering has gone beyond ridiculous. Nope, I wouldn't eat it any more than I'd eat a veggie burger, or other pseudo-food like products.

You want inexpensive high quality cruelty free meat? Get rid of monocrop GMO fields, return those to grass and let the cattle roam free on it the way Polyface does it.

You want more disease and making Monsanto like companies rich, then full steam ahead with this crap.

0
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on August 06, 2013
at 12:46 PM

I'm personally a fan of the idea of lab-fed meat, as being able to obtain animal protein without having to kill an animal would make meat consumption ideal in my eyes; however, I expect it'll be a while before I'm convinced that lab grown meat can produce the same balance of nutrients that grass-fed wild beef can...

736662d9fd6314d426cc6de1896aa045

(175)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:48 PM

UK radio had a reaction from a food expert who tasted the meat ($50k a mouthful - why is it always about the money!). The expert said there was no fat, and all agreed it was bland. I guess they can't grow fat in those conditions?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:00 PM

It's hacked meat, customized to each person's dietary needs, probably more "optimal" than any grass-fed product could ever be. That said, it's probably as energy intensive as any CAFO operation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:50 PM

As I understand, they didn't have the stem cells differentiate into fat cells.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on August 06, 2013
at 02:11 PM

The issue I see with it is that since it IS "hacked," the people developing it have to manually determine everything that goes into it. As far as I know, we haven't nailed down all the reasons that pastured ruminants seem to be so much better for people then grain-fed (O3 is part of it, but the O3 content of most pastured meat is so small I'd suspect there's more at play), so trying to manually recreate that seems like a long process of trial and error.

0
4cef120270c742b7f0094b05c617636f

on August 06, 2013
at 12:23 PM

I'll take a poop on that burger.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:18 PM

That would make it more natural!

0
718fd304d7abab150730638bf2be5153

(184)

on August 06, 2013
at 07:52 AM

"Why would this appeal to the general populace ?"

  • price: growing synthetic meat in vats of amino-acids inside a factory will be cheaper than raising cows. Real meat will become a luxury product.

  • animal rights: In 2008, PETA offered a $1 million prize to the first company that brings lab-grown chicken meat to consumers by 2012. Eating real meat will be scorned upon since "there is a a cruelty-free alternative".

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 06, 2013
at 12:58 PM

Thank goodness we've got dead dinosaurs that we can turn into lab-grown muscle cells. This is simply an extension of the industrialized fossil-fuel centric agriculture.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on August 06, 2013
at 07:56 AM

I suppose one could argue that experimenting with human nutrition is cruelty too.

-1
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 06, 2013
at 02:01 PM

We do not eat animals for proteins, those are plentiful even in a vegetarian diet. We eat it to eliminate toxins present in grains and beans (presumably, artificial meat will also be OK), but most importantly to assume a number of micronutrients that are scarce in vegetables: iron, zinc, B12, K2, D, and omega 3 fats. I doubt that pseudomeat can do that. A far more natural source of proteins, insects, do not provide vitamin D, while K2 levels are unknown (insects, though, are far higher in iron, zinc and B12 than beef, and have also usable amounts of Ca and Mg for example. Omega 3 depends entirely on the insect diet).

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 06, 2013
at 03:31 PM

I eat meat because my ancestors ate meat.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 06, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Same reason why I eat insects.

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