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Jul 12th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Bjorn Carey (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/space/sc_space/byline/cowfreebeefproposed/15714300/SIG=11mfqee5b/*http://www.space.com/php/contactus/feedback.php?r=bc)
LiveScience Staff Writer
LiveScience.com (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/space/sc_space/byline/cowfreebeefproposed/15714300/SIG=10sog4vj6/*http://www.livescience.com) Thu Jul 7, 3:05 PM ET

Scientists have proposed two new techniques for growing meat in a lab by a process that could one day make beef cows obsolete.

Don't toss out those beef steaks just yet, however. The technology is in its infant stages and it is not clear whether large-scale production will work. It's not known, for example, how to exercise an animal that doesn't exist, in order to give lab meat the full range of cow-like qualities.

Currently, small amounts of edible fish can be created in the lab. But University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny says that this process could be adapted on an industrial scale -- whole factories producing fish sticks without the fish or chicken nuggets without the real birds.

"With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply," Matheny says. "And you could do it in a way that's better for the environment and human health. In the long run, this is a very feasible idea."

Health benefits

Lab-grown meats could be designed to be healthier too.

"For one thing, you could control the nutrients," Matheny says. "For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat."

Cultured meats would reduce the environmental burden that comes from raising livestock. Also, it wouldn't need to be treated with antibiotics and other drugs that are common in the industry.

Scientists have already demonstrated that a single muscle cell from a cow or chicken can be turned into thousands in the lab. But so far, these experiments haven't gone large scale.

The methods

To grow meat on large scale, Matheny suggests two methods. One is to grow muscle cells on long, flat membranes. Once the cells are mature, the tissue would be stretched off the membrane and stacked so the product better resembled the real thing.

The other option would be to grow cells on small, three-dimensional beads that stretch with temperature changes. The cells could be scraped off and turned into processed meat like chicken nuggets or ground beef.

The trick, however, is to grow something that tastes like real meat. That means growing not just muscle cells, but other types of tissue -- like fat -- as well. Once the taste is good, the texture has to be just right for consumers to buy into the idea.

"We have to figure out how to 'exercise' the cells. For the right texture, you have to stretch the tissue, like a live animal would," Matheny says.

Matheny's paper was published in the June 29 issue of the journal Tissue Engineering.


Jul 12th, 2005, 12:09 AM
There's something inherently scary about this. As for the idea of not abusing animals for the meat, I guess thats a good thing, but for some reason I'm just not convinced its all rosy. and as for:

could one day make beef cows obsolete.

I hope that cows would be valued as more than just a food source. That cant just be a vegan thing can it?

Jul 12th, 2005, 12:10 AM
I still think I'll prefer vegetables

Jul 12th, 2005, 12:50 AM
The crazy thing would be that meat eaters would see it as unnatural and insist animals suffered and were killed for their flesh to keep from "scientists playing god".

It could never be vegan obviously because the initial cow cells are taken from would be the source. And no pixiequeen, sadly cows don't have any value to 99.9% of human society beyond the milk/flesh production they are exploited for.

Nov 27th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Here's food for thought: Scientists are working on artificially creating meat; that is... culturing it from an animal cell. If this method were to replace the raising and slaughter of animals, it would have SERIOUS implications for us veg*ns!


Australian magazine Gizmag (http://www.gizmag.com/) is reporting that scientists experimenting with food production for space travel have developed a technique that could one day allow for wide-scale production of artificial meat. (http://www.gizmag.com/go/4439/) Rather than raising livestock and killing them for food, a single animal cell could be used to produce the edible tissue. From the article: "Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat." "On the other hand, cultured meat could appeal to people concerned about food safety, the environment, and animal welfare, and people who want to tailor food to their individual tastes." A lively discussion of how this would effect vegetarianism developed on Slashdot. (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/17/1243239&tid=126)


Nov 28th, 2005, 03:48 PM
I don't think this will ever replace conventional breeding and slaughter of animals. It would also not replace dairy and eggs. And since meat is not necessary for human survival I doubt many vegans would start eating a laboratory produced substance that had been tested on animals for safety.

I see this along the lines of "What if you were on a desert island......"

In other words, the chances of us seeing the widespread use of lab meat in our time is probably slim.

Nov 28th, 2005, 03:56 PM
We don't need animal protein in our diet so it wouldn't interest me. It would probably still be very wasteful of energy, too.

Nov 28th, 2005, 03:57 PM
I still wouldn't eat it, it's still got no fibre in it, it still tastes of dead flesh. It would still not contain the goodness of whole foods. It would just be an excuse to get fat and unhealthy on meat with a clear consciounce and cook in a lazy way with convenience foods (that spelling's not right is it?).
If they could grow human meat in a lab would we eat it? I don't think so.

Mar 30th, 2006, 06:27 PM
Hi All

I was watching a Canadian news show yesterday and they reported on the potential for meat to be grown in a lab. I don't know how it will work or if the cells it grows out of is originally animal based (you would think so), I missed the first part of it.

But the researcher claimed that it was non-animal meat. Veggies were then asked if they would eat this meat (that is a processed ground beef, ground chicken style) and some said yes, as it does not come from animals. Weird stuff!

So would you all eat this meat if it didn't in any way derive from animals? This isn't an issue of consent, but I find the whole thing gross. At the same time it would be nice if it caught on in the omni community. Less animals would suffer as a result.

Mar 30th, 2006, 06:32 PM
In principle i haven't got a problem with this, in the end it will be a whole lot more ethical. Even if originally derived from an animal cell this will then continually be replicated, and no future animals should be farmed / killed.

Practically, i haven't eaten meat for nearly 10 years and even the thought of eating it makes me feel sick. Some vegan stuff is that realistic that i don't like it. so the chances of me eating it are low i would expect.

Mar 30th, 2006, 06:41 PM
But the researcher claimed that it was non-animal meat.

Mmmm the other white meat ;)

Nope, I couldn't eat it, like vbb meat repeals me to the extent I can't eat meat replacements that are too realistic *bleeeeuugghh*

Mar 30th, 2006, 07:26 PM
I have no problem with eating "meat" that isnt meat. I often buy Veggiemaster "chicken" wings and they smell/shred and taste like chicken but im ok with it as its not a dead carcass in my kitchen. Ive heard of this lab grown meat stuff. Im not certain what it really is but if its animal flesh then it can sod off...yuk just the thought makes me wanna puke!! BUT.....it'd sure be great if the omni's caught on to this and we didnt have animal suffering....bring it on....I hope against hope that its good stuff and it catches on!!

Jane M
Mar 30th, 2006, 07:31 PM
I'm with Saucy on this one...it could work out for the best! Here's hoping.:D

Mar 30th, 2006, 08:10 PM
i'll never eat something like that... it can be good to stop abusing over animals for the omivores but i think is going to be something expensive in hydric/alimentary and not good for the environment

Mar 30th, 2006, 09:34 PM
I don't think I'd want to eat it! But like saucy said if it stops the mass torture and slaughter of "farm" animals then I'm all for it. :D

Mar 30th, 2006, 10:07 PM
i wonder what new health problems would result from this-

Mar 30th, 2006, 11:51 PM
i agree with bikerboy n saucy.i understand it could be complicated.but we are a nation of flesh eaters and anything that moves on from this is good IMHO.

i do not think i would eat it though..but then theres a lot of thngs i wont eat...not significant really.

Mar 31st, 2006, 05:19 PM
I wouldn't eat highly processed chemical food made in a lab, like Kraft Dinner, so I wouldn't eat this either. Beside the point that it is meat, god knows what they do to it in the lab.

Mar 31st, 2006, 05:22 PM
*has visions of greenhouse labs full of meat*... eeeeww meat farm!

Apr 1st, 2006, 12:31 AM
Yeah, I can't even begin to imagine how they would 'grow' it. I keep imagining Matrix like rows of throbbing meat blobs. Mmmmm.

Apr 1st, 2006, 12:51 AM
Yeah, I can't even begin to imagine how they would 'grow' it. I keep imagining Matrix like rows of throbbing meat blobs. Mmmmm.

That made me a little gaggy just imagining it!

Apr 1st, 2006, 12:59 AM
Nope, I couldn't eat it, like vbb meat repeals me to the extent I can't eat meat replacements that are too realistic *bleeeeuugghh*
Same here!

i'll never eat something like that... it can be good to stop abusing over animals for the omivores but i think is going to be something expensive in hydric/alimentary and not good for the environment

I agree with this Tray. I think it's "too good to be true" and I think that it would cause considerable environmental damage and who can even imagine what kinds of other problems. Best case scenario is that it doesn't cause any major problems and stops animal abuse...that would be great for those who want it, but I wouldn't eat it.

Apr 1st, 2006, 10:33 AM
The taste of meat is revolting. So cow or no-cow, is of least botheration to me. I don't like the smell of meat.

But if this is possible, it could be a chance for many carnivores to make the transition into veganism. :rolleyes:

Apr 1st, 2006, 04:52 PM
The health implications of eating animal protiens and fats are pretty dire, and it wouldn't change if they were synthesized.

May 14th, 2006, 04:08 PM
So probably a few weeks ago to a month ago I was watching the news and I saw that they are currently working on figuring out a way to clone animal cells for meat. They mentioned on the show that this would solve a lot of problems for people because no harm is done to the animals when getting the cell to clone and so no animals are slaughtered during the process. The meat is then cloned directly from the cell so its not like they clone a whole other animal and slaughter that one - theres just no death involved. They said that this would make it okay for vegetarians to eat meat now because its completely cruelty-free (the procedure to get cells causes no pain).

What do you all think? Would you eat the cloned cruelty-free meat?? why or why not?