21 April 2008

Is this not the weirdest thing? Who needs fiction when there is science?

From: Next Big Future

Meat factories, food substitution and veganism

The Speculist talks about meat factories (making meat from stem cells) and a personal conversion to veganism or vegetarianism.

People are growing meat now

In five to 10 years, supermarkets might have some new products in the meat counter: packs of vat-grown meat that are cheaper to produce than livestock and have less impact on the environment.

According to a new economic analysis presented at the In Vitro Meat Symposium in ├ůs, Norway, meat grown in giant tanks known as bioreactors would cost between $5,200-$5,500 a ton (3,300 to 3,500 euros), which the analysis claims is cost competitive with European beef prices.

To produce the meat we eat now, 75 to 95 percent of what we feed an animal is lost because of metabolism and inedible structures like skeleton or neurological tissue. So invitro meat could be 4 to 20 times more efficient.

There has been other food substitutions:
Egg substitute - from egg whites

Margerine, a blend of vegetable oils or meat fats (or a combination of both) mixed with milk and salt, in place of butter.

Soy meat and soy protein products.

A lot of processed food:
Yoghurt, twinkies (and other chemical and corn syrup concoctions), whey protein products and bars, spam, meat slurry

Invitro meat technology:

An environmentally friendly cultured meat technology rests on four basic premises: (1) the culturing of muscle progenitor cells from farm animals of choice that are able to proliferate at a high rate, (2) the application of a growth medium that does not contain animal products, (3) the efficient differentiation of the progenitor cells into muscle cells that contain all nutrients present in conventional meat, and (4) the organisation of the muscle cells into 3-dimensional muscle structures.

Mickie's note : Just when you think you've seen it all ...