Would You Try Meat Grown in a Lab?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/5/2012 10:00 AM   :  51 comments   :  6,738 Views

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Over thirty years ago, advances in technology created the first test tube baby. Twenty years later continued advancements introduced the world to Dolly the first cloned mammal.  A decade later, the FDA declared that genetically engineered foods were "not inherently dangerous" and would not require special regulations.
 

As controversial as these technological advancements may have been, they may be nothing compared to what scientists in the Netherlands are working to create in a test tube now.


The demand for beef around the world has increased. At the same time, food prices are on the rise. The price of beef has increased continually over the last decade and skyrocketed over the last two years, which makes economic sense given the increased demand. In an attempt to identify alternatives, Professor Mark Post at Maastricht University has decided to create the first lab-grown hamburger.
 
Scientists believe lab grown meat help places like Asia and Africa where conventional livestock production is limited. A private donor is so convinced that lab-grown meat could revolutionize the food industry, they have anonymously provided $330,000 to fund the project. If all goes well, the first test tube burger could arrive in October. Here is more about this new ground breaking initiative.


 
What do you think about this new technology? Would you eat a lab-grown burger?


Would you try "test-tube beef"?



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Comments

  • SLCHERIE
    51
    No, but I don't eat red meat at all, a little white meat 6 or 7 times a year. I dont' think lab meat is any more disgusting than eating some poor cut up dead cow. Maybe I will go off white meat too. - 3/10/2012   2:33:39 PM
  • LCORONITY
    50
    I would totally eat Lab-Made meats. Anyone going totally bonkers over saying that there is no way at all that they would do this needs to remember that they probably said they were going to stop driving before they paid over $3 for a gallon of gas. When push comes to shove, the labs know that not everyone is going to give up beef so if this is going to happen, it is just going to happen. - 3/9/2012   3:00:14 PM
  • 49
    Yes I would.
    Protein is protein, why not try it if I know it was produced in healthy conditions?
    If FDA approves, I'm sure it is healthy and safe.
    But I would prefer to try it in a blinded setting, so that I don't know it is lab grown, so that my preconceptions do not bias me.
    It is not the taste but the texture of natural meat which I think is hard to reproduce.

    In her wonderful book That Old Ace in the Hole, Annie Proulx writes about hog farms but I guess the process is similar for other animals, and the damage to environment is the same.
    Imagine how most of natural meat is made, and lab grown meat seems more appealing. - 3/9/2012   6:00:16 AM
  • 48
    I heard about this this weekend and it was my tipping point to really making vegetables my focus for breakfast and lunch and my primary food source at dinner. I'm not full vegetarian, but I'd have to consider putting a fence up in my backyard before jumping on this wagon. - 3/8/2012   3:12:26 PM
  • LIVE4FOOD
    47
    It seems that the real potential problem here is on whether we will know it!
    We seem to be getting more than we bargained for these days with food. - 3/8/2012   1:48:26 PM
  • 46
    Which would I choose if I had to choose between eating a ground-up dead cow and a lab-grown burger? Put the faux burger with sauteed onions and peppers on a grill for me. I'm happy that technological advancements might be able to "revolutionize the food industry" in my lifetime but I think a major marketing campaign will need to change opinions. - 3/7/2012   1:32:38 PM
  • 45
    I don't see why people think growing beef in a lab is scarier or more disgusting than slaughtering and eating an animal. We already eat lots of man-made foods. If this would keep people from starving and end the cruelty of slaughterhouses; I'm all for it. - 3/7/2012   10:22:36 AM
  • 44
    No! This is too far out. - 3/7/2012   7:03:38 AM
  • 43
    Noooooo!! As in, Oh No! No WAY! Absolutely no way -,here, there, or anywhere. And I was thinking this as soon as I read title. Glad to see comments that agree with my thought processes... Including the one that I would cross line to being vegan... Frankenburger, be gone!! - 3/7/2012   12:42:56 AM
  • 42
    Considering how much better it would be on the animals and the (hopefully) greatly reduced risk of infectious disease in meats, I'd go for it. Besides, if you ever visited a commercial animal farm (where most of your meat comes from), the lab might not seem half as gross/scary as it does to you now. And if you've ever been able to bring yourself to eating McD's, surely this could be no worse. - 3/7/2012   12:10:33 AM
  • 41
    In China they eat cats, dogs, snakes, sharks, etc, so to see this grown in a LAB is fine with me. But I do give China credit for its one child policy and working to control their population, which still grows at SEVEN MILLION additional people per year. India makes no such effort and their population continues to soar. - 3/6/2012   6:08:49 PM
  • 40
    I can't eat beef, nor do I like it, but even if I could eat it I would never eat test-tube beef. - 3/6/2012   5:29:17 PM
  • 39
    I think if we go to this it will finally push me over the line and I'll become a vegetarian. - 3/6/2012   12:42:06 PM
  • 38
    Lab grown meat is just another step forward for frankenfood. - 3/6/2012   12:19:41 PM
  • SKANESSA
    37
    I wouldn't eat it because I just don't like meat. If I avoided it for solely ethical reasons I might have a different opinion, however I don't like the taste or texture. Lab grown meat can't be any more disgusting than what passes for meat at fast food restaurants. - 3/6/2012   9:14:31 AM
  • STREO2004
    36
    would rather NOT - 3/6/2012   1:53:07 AM
  • 35
    I would raise and slaughter my own animals before I ever eat lab-grown meat. Gross. - 3/5/2012   11:36:44 PM
  • PIXIESTIX6669
    34
    Funny to see 60% answered NO, but I wonder how many of the same respondents are eating GMO corn, soy, canola and zucchini? - 3/5/2012   7:39:34 PM
  • 33
    Funny to see another concept common in Science Fiction coming closer to becoming reality. - 3/5/2012   4:31:38 PM
  • 32
    I don't even eat regular meat, I certainly don't want to eat man-made meat. - 3/5/2012   4:14:53 PM
  • CALAMITYJEN13
    31
    Hmm, this is a question I've asked myself before, as I kind of guessed that this would someday happens. I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but sometimes I do miss the taste of meat, and I worry about my intake of some nutrients. I don't know if this 'meat' would contain the full range of nutrients, so if it didn't I probably wouldn't bother. Otherwise... I don't know if I would try it, I guess I'd have to know more. - 3/5/2012   3:29:30 PM
  • 30
    Lag grown meat is probably safer than "free range " meat. Diseased meat (mad cow comes to mind) is definitely dangerous. I would eat lab grown meat with less trepidation than "natural" meat.

    Avoid meat? not me....and natural organic vegetables are not any safer. e-coli, other bacteria. Living is dangerous. If lab meat is cheaper, cleaner, why not?

    - 3/5/2012   3:13:12 PM
  • 29
    NEVER! I think we need to eat less meat anyways. It is linked to so many degenerative diseases. Eat less meat and we won't need test tube meat. - 3/5/2012   2:40:11 PM
  • 28
    And to that a LOUD YES.

    Seriously. Think of what "natural" meat entails:

    - 1000 calories in plant (often grains) to get 100 calories worth of meat, with all the cost for the environment that goes into harvesting, storing, transporting the fodder.

    - Scares and scandals about the health risks connected with meat gone bad or containing either some infection or the medications/hormones/other fun stuff the animals were treated with.

    - Ethical considerations of how animals live and the fact that we kill them. Yep, the latter bit has been done for a long time. Raising animals in better shoe-boxes and the effects that has on their health, neccessity for medications and so on are not.

    - You think test-tube meat is icky? I can understand that; it sounds a bit icky and probably doesn't look any better, either. Then again: There's a reason MacDonalds doesn't put images of cows being slaughtered and drawn on their place mats. It's not such a pretty process, either, even if the, well, unhygenical bits of the animal (think lower intestines) aren't being removed by some tired worker on a piecework wage.

    Don't get me wrong: I love eating "natural" food, meaning no mono sodium glutamate, nothing from genetically altered plants or animals, fair trade chocolae and coffee and, if possible, locally grown food.

    But we all know by now that eating a big serving of meat once a day is not natural, nor is eating at McDonalds or KFC. And eating vegetables imported from 500 miles away or even from half-way round the globe isn't either!

    The main influence for me would really be not having to worry about how an animal had to live and what effects factory farming has on the environment and on the shortness of food in some parts of this world. The health concerns at least only screw me over, and then it was my decision to eat the meat to begin with. Right now I'm eating meat _maybe_ once a week, and then small servings like a slice of ham on a sandwich. And I really like meat!

    I'd love to have "test-tube meat" available. - 3/5/2012   2:15:43 PM
  • 27
    no, thank you. - 3/5/2012   1:59:34 PM
  • BETTYCQ
    26
    WHY would anyone want to do this? - 3/5/2012   1:55:01 PM
  • 25
    Yikes, pink slime at the golden arches now test tube beef. The equation that is being preached appears to be maximize profit in exchange for wholesome real foods. The scary part is that with little real regulation someday this may just slip into the big pile of meat that gets shipped to your average supermarket. - 3/5/2012   1:36:08 PM
  • 24
    Maybe, if it meant the difference between survival and starvation...Otherwise no. - 3/5/2012   1:34:26 PM
  • 23
    I will avoid it as long as I possibly can. I try to avoid all of the man-made artificial stuff. - 3/5/2012   1:10:17 PM
  • 22
    I recommend the book "In Defense of Food"
    For me, the closer my food (all of it) is locally grown, the safer I feel. - 3/5/2012   1:09:41 PM
  • 21
    If it means the end of animal cruelty, I am in.

    But then again, I am extremely open-minded when it comes to food and will try just about anything. I carry more of a "eat now, ask questions later" kind of 'tude. ;-) - 3/5/2012   1:03:06 PM
  • 20
    Oh gag. I just can't think of a better word! So many good comments here. Julia-Julie - I agree with you! I just don't see it not happening, though. sigh. - 3/5/2012   12:52:18 PM
  • 19
    I don't think I'd try it for a few years. - 3/5/2012   12:45:54 PM
  • 18
    This article is sooo wrong on soooo many different levels...

    1.Just the thought turns my stomach. However, since I know there is probably no stopping them, they should be legally required to label foods that are modified any anyway-this includes using meat glue (gag)

    2. More importantly, our fast food culture has programmed us to look at cheap food as better somehow. However, we do not fully understand the complexity of how our bodies and the plants and animals we eat interact. For example there are alot of vitamins that need fat to become soluable. No matter how hard we try to add essential nutrients to the foods we eat, it will never be as nutritious and healthy as naturally, minimally processed foods are. For the first time in history we have a significant number of people that are getting fatter AND more malnurished at the same time.

    3. Instead of producing more meat why don't we incorporate different kinds of proteins into our diet (beans, nuts, tofu, etc). Or, stretch our meat consumption by eating smaller portions of it and filling in the rest with good freggies or by cutting it up and eating it in stir-frys.

    We are only given the bodies that we have, we should give them the love that they deserve. :) - 3/5/2012   12:39:33 PM
  • 17
    Yeah, I'm a big chicken, don't mind the pun. I seldom try anything new until it's been around a while. Let the experts work the bugs out first...

    Becca315 - 3/5/2012   12:24:39 PM
  • 16
    I think that I would wait a while before sampling the lab created meat after it hits the market. However, it will certainly have less salt the any of the meat less patties (veggie burgers) that are currently in the marketplace. - 3/5/2012   12:11:58 PM
  • 15
    I don't think I could eat meat that was manufactured in a lab. I can't imagine raising cattle in this day and age when things are so costly. I admire and respect those that do and are committed to it.
    - 3/5/2012   12:00:18 PM
  • 14
    I'd rather they grew vat chicken or fish as a taste preference. But I have no problem eating vat made simulated animal protein. So much of our diet is almost there already. - 3/5/2012   11:53:03 AM
  • 13
    It's funny that people feel weird about eating cloned beef, but they'll eat fast food burgers and chicken which are notorious for containing "pink sludge/slime".
    Since I can't post a link, feel free to look it up. :) youtube.com/watch?v=1EIzCgZ-ypA
    - 3/5/2012   11:45:19 AM
  • 12
    This is reprehensible, and yet another stark reason to GO VEGETARIAN. Issues like this are wearing down our humanity - our sense of responsibility to know & TO CHOOSE right from wrong. LIFE IS NOT A "buy, sell, consume" COMMODITY.

    P.S. - Even when we go vegetarian, or vegan, then we have to fight the battle against corporate agriculture and their "genetically modified organisms". Since (at least) the late 20th century, the crap never ends!!!! Stop playing Frankenstein. (Or GOD.) - 3/5/2012   11:25:43 AM
  • 11
    I would not want to eat it... I have a hard time feeling good about most of the food I buy as it is. I really don't like the direction our world is going... I'd like to see a respect of our natural world, get back to small family run farms, communities that know who made what and where we support one another, not big corporations... - 3/5/2012   11:24:07 AM
  • 10
    I'm a biotechnology student, specializing in agriculture. I see arguments and misinformation left and right, but I would have no qualms about eating lab-created meat, especially if the ecological impact is lessened. - 3/5/2012   11:19:47 AM
  • 9
    ONLY if it is cheaper. I will eat anything reasonably healthy for the lowest possible cost.
    Now, I rarely eat full portions of anything: I can make a four portion product into 7, 8 or 9 - and if I got it on sale, AND with a coupon, it becomes almost affordable. I eat more chicken than meat now (it is cheaper); also swai fish (the best deal in our supermarket, although I never heard of it before I saw a sale on it and tried it.)
    Unfortunately, when they come up with something new, it usually costs more, not less. I desperately try to eat healthy - which is why I very rarely reach 1200 calories a day. ALL extras are long gone from my diet. I hope that when they introduce this, they offer bargains on it for a while - maybe even free samples. If so, I'd be first to get it! - 3/5/2012   11:07:07 AM
  • RAYVENBANE
    8
    If we eat things with carageenan, msg (monosodium glutamate), xylitol and other additives and chemicals without blinking what's so bad about fake meat? Before you say 'ew, gross' I would suggest thinking on what you already eat and see why that's ok and this is not... (I thought ew gross until I realized what was in my 'healthy' fiber cereal. Now I feel a little uprooted and not sure what to think...!) - 3/5/2012   10:57:39 AM
  • 7
    A huge reason why beef has gone up is because the amount of cattle raised in this country is less than it has been in many years. This is good news for those of us who raise cattle (we have a cow calf operation and a well maintained feed lot that feeds about 200-250 cattle a year - not a "factory farm"), but the cost of operation and feed has increased too, so don't think that farmers raise cattle to get rich. My husband loves breeding cattle, raising cattle and my children love showing cattle. Farming is a hard life with more work than people who live in a city could ever imagine, but my husband could not imagine going back to teaching either. - 3/5/2012   10:52:30 AM
  • 6
    I'm a vegetarian, and although I'm really SUPER glad to see viable progress towards an alternative to cruel factory farming, I am pretty sure I won't eat lab-fab meat. Just because the FDA says something's safe doesn't put my mind at ease. - 3/5/2012   10:46:17 AM
  • 5
    I will need more information before I make this choice but the video turned my stomach. I'm starting to cut back my meat cunsumption anyways. Plant based foods are so healthy and I watch too many documentaries. - 3/5/2012   10:45:21 AM
  • 4
    I have no idea at this point - 3/5/2012   10:39:42 AM
  • 3
    I agree with you JEALYN. I don't even want genetically modified foods. Let's hope the FDA will be smarter about requiring labeling on test tube beef than they have been on GMOs. - 3/5/2012   10:21:11 AM
  • 2
    I do not think I want to eat anything grown in a lab. God created the earth and the animals - I think I will stick with God made food. - 3/5/2012   10:15:05 AM

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