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July 06, 2005

Hydroponic Hamburgers?: Researchers Propose Cultivating Beef Tissue In Laboratories, Sans Cows

I'm down with it. What the hell do I care?:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Laboratories using new tissue engineering technology might be able to produce meat that is healthier for consumers and cut down on pollution produced by factory farming, researchers said on Wednesday.

While NASA engineers have grown fish tissue in lab dishes, no one has seriously proposed a way to grow meat on commercial levels.

But a new study conducted by University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny and his colleagues describe two possible ways to do it.

Writing in the journal Tissue Engineering, Matheny said scientists could grow cells from the muscle tissue of cattle, pigs, poultry or fish in large flat sheets on thin membranes. These sheets of cells would be grown and stretched, then removed from the membranes and stacked to increase thickness and resemble meat.

Using another method, scientists could grow muscle cells on small three-dimensional beads that stretch with small changes in temperature. The resulting tissue could be used to make processed meat such as chicken nuggets or hamburgers.

"There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," Matheny said in a statement. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients."

Meat is high in omega-6 fatty acid, which is desirable, but not in large amounts. Healthful omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in walnuts and fish oils, could be substituted.

Alternately, you could just substitute people.

Soylent Green is people, you know. And it's f'n' tasty.

PS, did you ever notice how lame the inducement for euthanasia-followed-by-food-processing was in Soylent Green? You get to eat a couple of fucking apples and then watch the gayest fucking nature film ever made.

Even assuming there's no nature left in the overpopulated world of 1988 (or whenever the movie's supposed to take place), didn't fucking film stock survive?

Wowsers. I get to sit here snacking on fucking trail mix while you show me fucking squirrels-riding-on-waterskis movies. Where do I sign up for the suicide cyanide drip.


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posted by Ace at 11:34 PM

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