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Man-made meat

Meat is meat and a man must eat. But is it?

by: Cath Shone: Restaurant Ed | 07 Dec 2009
Raw meat

Alert the media! The latest is that scientists are growing meat.

"With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply. And you could do it in a way that's better for the environment and human health.

"In the long term, this is a very feasible idea," said Jason Matheny of the University of Maryland, part of the team whose research has been published in the Tissue Engineering journal. Tissue engineering techniques were first developed for medical use and small amounts of edible fish tissue have been grown.

To industrialise the process, researchers suggest the cells could be grown on large sheets that would need to be stretched to provide the 'exercise' for the growing muscles.

If "the meat" did not go through this process, it would be like eating mush.

Whilst the technology to produce processed meat is here now, producing a steak or chicken breast is still quite a way off, the researchers say.

How the vegetarians will react to this is anyone’s guess. Before they start celebrating I suppose the method of obtaining the animal’s cells will have to be examined. Of course there is more to vegetarianism than just "not eating meat" - there are other ethical and historical factors to be taken into consideration.  But whatever way you look at it, it’s got to be better than the cruel conditions most animals are kept in until their slaughter.

So, yes, it sounds like a good idea – I’m all for the animal lives being saved, but… um, hello… does anybody else feel a little bit queasy at the thought of eating lab-grown meat?


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