PETA to Offer $1 Million for Lab-Grown Meat
For the first time that I can recall in my lifetime, I actually approve of something that PETA is doing. The animal rights organization has announced that they are offering a one million dollar prize for the first person or company to create lab grown meat that’s good enough to fool meat eaters.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay a million dollars for fake meat — even if it has caused a “near civil war” within the organization.
The organization said it would announce plans on Monday for a $1 million prize to the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.”
New Harvest, a nonprofit organization formed to promote the field, says on its Web site, “Because meat substitutes are produced under controlled conditions impossible to maintain in traditional animal farms, they can be safer, more nutritious, less polluting and more humane than conventional meat.”
Jason Matheny, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University who formed New Harvest, said the idea of a prize for researchers was promising. Citing the example of the Ansari X Prize, a competition that produced the first privately financed human spacecraft, Mr. Matheny said, “they inspire more dollars spent on a research problem than the prize represents.”
Now this is something I can get behind. After all, once the technique is perfected, the end product would be indistinguishable from naturally grown meat products. Indeed, I’d wager that once in vitro meat growth becomes viable, it will taste even better–perfect marbleization in your steak anyone? Not to mention that it’d be nice to be able to eat meat having one’s ethical sense troubled by the rather inhumane conditions that a lot of livestock are raised in.
Why don’t we just cut straight to Soylent Green right now?
Made exclusively of PETA members??
Nah, can’t be.
PETA members are made of tofu, aren’t they?
At least they picked something that actually exists. The problem is not growing meat cells in the lab on an industrial scale. The problem is that they can’t (yet) grow an inch thick steak because they can only (currently) apply nutrients, and hense growth, to the surface of the tissue. Basically, they haven’t figured how to grow blood vessels in their lab meat. At least that’s what I understood from the last story I read on the subject. Unfortuntely, I can’t find that source of information anymore.
A quick review of human dentition quickly assuages any guilt PETA might want me to feel about eating animals.
In my experience, most of those in ‘human detention’ as you call it, give animals a bad name.
Um … what about the lab serum that will be required for growing the cell cultures? That’s usually called “fetal bovine serum.” Yep. Made from cow fetuses. Future veal. You can look it up.
Plus, once the “product” is ready for market, it will have to be tested on animals. Extensively. The FDA requires it.
Bithead, you lost me if you were referring tomy comment. I’m not taking a position here on any methods of keeping, slaughtering or processing animals. Just noting that humans are genetically omnivores and eating meat is as natural as breathing, whereas PETA thinks eating meat is bad in and of itself.
How one obtains such tasty meat and at what price are separate issues.
I’ve made oatmeal sausage 40% grains that was delicious. Maybe that’s worth 50 grand or so do you think?
By and large I agree it could be a good thing – but marbleization? What makes you think more than one-percent by weight will be allowed to be fat? Has the recent research showing that some trans-fats are actually good for you gone to your head? Do you suppose the foodies will pay attention, any more than they did when passing more school-access regulations to off-the-menu items despite studies showing the major effect of such was deleterious?
Mmmmph. My misread, then. See, when you spoke of human detention, I thought you to be making a pass at jailhouse conditions vs conditions animals are held in. I was simply following the (mis-)perceived tangent. My bad.
Roseanne Roseannadanna sez…”OH! DENTition….nevermind!
and they haven’t figured out how to grow connective tissues connecting the thin layers of muscle or how to intersperse lipids. At this stage we could grow very thin layers or nets of muscle tissues but the taste would be off and the texture would be way off, though it would probably be more healthy.
The easiest way to get to lab grown meat would be to continue on our current track of engineering animals down to meat factories. We have come a long way down that track already. All that is really left is to engineer away mobility and the rest of the brain not associated with autonomic system functions and set them up with feeding and waste collection tubes. Somehow I don’t think this is what PETA is shooting for.