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GlorifiedRice

Meatless Meat - Semi-Living Food

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http://www.tca.uwa.edu.au/disembodied/dis.html

Scientists in Australia have created a ‘semi-living’ food. This project uses a tissue engineering technique to grow cells from living animals into bodyless animal parts. I can’t see vegetarians or meat-eaters wanting to chow down on this non-animal entree.

"This technique makes it possible to grow meat without victimizing animals. However, it is still unclear how this meat can be presented in an attractive and appetizing way. "


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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http://www.tca.uwa.edu.au/disembodied/dis.html

Scientists in Australia have created a ‘semi-living’ food. This project uses a tissue engineering technique to grow cells from living animals into bodyless animal parts. I can’t see vegetarians or meat-eaters wanting to chow down on this non-animal entree.

"This technique makes it possible to grow meat without victimizing animals. However, it is still unclear how this meat can be presented in an attractive and appetizing way. "

Wow. I don't know about anyone else, but for me it is quite clear: THIS IS DEFINITELY UNATTRACTIVE AND UNAPPETIZING! The website itself seems pretty inept at selling the concept. In particular the images--especially the feast images--are either confusing, irrelevant regarding the final product, or visually grotesque. They would also go a long way in selling this stuff by coming up with a different name other than "disembodied cuisine." Ick.

GlorifiedRice, do you know if anything became of this "cuisine?" The website dates back to 2003.


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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That looks like quite a feast :laugh:

Really though, the whole thought of this concept is about as unappetizing as it gets.

I wonder how vegetarians really would/do feel about this subject??

Also, did anyone watch the video on the site? The sound wouldn't work for me for some reason, but I got a feeling like I was watching a propaganda film, seeing animals in close quarters and sheep with their heads sticking out of cages getting shipped off somewhere juxtaposed with scientists drinking wine, happily coexisting with the lab frogs, and growing meat in pietri dishes!


Edited by BBJoe (log)

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This reminds me of "animal 51".. anyone else? (I believe that's the correct name for the lifeless blob Taco Bell or KFC was supposed to be slicing flesh from for their meat...the internet seems to be awfully quiet about it. Come on, internet! It's a conspiracy theory!!!! You LOVE them!)

Also, it's funny that the idea is to appeal to vegans/vegetarians, because they're usually the ones most against non-GMO products... you know, crimes against nature and all that...


Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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DivaLasVegas?

I didnt notice the date. Someone posted it as new on Trendhunter...

Wow!

--------

we marinated the frog in Calvados overnight. It was then fried in honey and garlic, both rich sources of natural antibacterial agents. Then, together with the two curators, the chef, and six volunteers, we feasted on the semi-living steak. Unfortunately, as the growth period was too short, much of the polymer did not degrade and the steak had the texture of jellied fabric.

Source: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/16/catts.php


Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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DivaLasVegas?

I didnt notice the date. Someone posted it as new on Trendhunter...

Wow!

--------

we marinated the frog in Calvados overnight. It was then fried in honey and garlic, both rich sources of natural antibacterial agents. Then, together with the two curators, the chef, and six volunteers, we feasted on the semi-living steak. Unfortunately, as the growth period was too short, much of the polymer did not degrade and the steak had the texture of jellied fabric.

Source: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/16/catts.php

Yeah, the section on disembodied cuisine is from 2003, although but there are other parts of the website posted this year.

As for "................ we feasted on the semi-living steak. Unfortunately, as the growth period was too short, much of the polymer did not degrade and the steak had the texture of jellied fabric." Oh............ My................ GAWD!!! *** shudder *** Someone should really clue these folks in on the meaning of the word "feast." :raz:


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Actually, I've long thought that one of the aims of gene tinkering and laboratory capabilities would be for this exact purpose, and can recall envisioning, with a friend several years ago, these long horizontal silo-looking buildings where "meat" was cultivated.

The idea doesn't abhor me. It would never replace a fine cut of meat, but for a way to get animal (or then would it be "animal") protein to the masses in a cheap way -- without the horror of modern factory farms and meat processing plants -- it might have merit. I mean, really, if you're gumming down a McDonald's cheeseburger, are you more reassured that it came supposedly from some living cattle somewhere in the world? (Or, more likely, dozens).

Hygiene could be controlled much better, as could, I imagine, disease. And by eliminating all the other tissues and life processes that require energy (and thus food), the resulting cultivated muscle tissue would consume far fewer resources than current beef, pork, chicken production.

Again, as a food lover, I am not saying this is an idea people are ready to accept. Nor will it replace fine meats or my winter-long pots of venison stew. But if something like this made major inroads into the "cheap meats" market, perhaps the live animal market wouldn't be so foul, inhumane and creepy.

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Since the title on the front page of the website is "The Tissue Culture and Art Project," I'm thinking this is more about performance art than gourmandry. In fact, as I click around the site, I get the impression that these folks are in fact artists with heavy scientific backgrounds, rather than food scientists developing meaningful products.

I am reminded of various science-fiction premises. For instance, in one of the far-future societies portrayed in Samuel Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, all meat is vat-grown from animal-muscle cell cultures, including the gourmet stuff. In fact, at one point one of the protagonists recalls a dinner he had on another world where meat still came from live animals--a fact he didn't realize until he ran into a bit of bone in his steak, at which point he was so nauseated that he had to leave the table post-haste.

Which is a strkingly similar reaction to one I've noted in some present-day real-life people, who happily eat meat but can't deal with its origins. They just buy the nice slabs of unidentifiable animal protein in the clingwrap and styrofoam and refrain from thinking about how it got there. For all they know (or care to admit to themselves), that meat might as well have been grown in a tank as opposed to the flank of some animal.

And then there are the processed meat items. I'd say a pack of "all meat" hotdogs from my local supermarket, with their soy protein and meat-byproduct additives and collagen casings, are not all that terribly far removed from these tissue-culture frog steaks the art project folks were attempting to "feast" on.

I don't know if these art project folks were necessarily going for these particular allusions .... but hey, that's the thing about art, it often winds up invoking more symbolism than originally intended, y'know? :smile:

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Wow, shades of C.M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants and Chicken Little....


Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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I've talked about this before. The right way to view this is that vat grown meat:beef::margarine:butter.

What gives meat and other food it's refined and complex flavor is the complexity of taste. To eat good beef is to taste everything the cow has eaten, every step the cow has walked and everything the cow's body has gone through. The artifical replacement for that product doesn't both to replicate all this complexity. Instead, it focuses on just the top 5 or 6 most prominent flavors to give the gist without the nuance.

It may be possible to replicate all of those flavors in an artificial product, but it's not economic. The cheapest way to make the best butter tasting product is not to make better and better margarine, it's simply to make butter.

So the future of vat grown meat is that it's going to appear in similar contexts to where margarine has replaced butter. Institutional food, food where the meat is not a prominent feature and food that seeks to cut costs. The steak will always be there.


PS: I am a guy.

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A pertinent follow-up I found today on slate.com: http://www.slate.com/id/2189676/

I really don't see a negative to this, especially if it could be eventually cultivated with far fewer resources than livestock take, with an almost zero risk of infection (no fecal coliform, for one), no need for antibiotics, hormones, etc.

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Reminds me of the Simpsons episode in which Lisa becomes a vegetarian. Homer says to her, "Lisa, this is lamb, not a lamb."

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A pertinent follow-up I found today on slate.com: http://www.slate.com/id/2189676/

I really don't see a negative to this, especially if it could be eventually cultivated with far fewer resources than livestock take, with an almost zero risk of infection (no fecal coliform, for one), no need for antibiotics, hormones, etc.

It is just wrong...on so many levels IMHO...I sure hope I'll be long dead before this crap comes to be the norm. There is nothing worng with killing an animal for food, just treat it well like a living breathing crerature not a 'commodity') before slaughter.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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It's obvious where the sci-fi community will go with this, but I wonder if it will open a new frontier for guys like Feran Adria. Synthetic meat analogs from the most inspired culinary labohratories.

As far as feeding the hungry, I'm not sure I see the point of this. If the issue is protein and complete nutrition vs. resources, does lab meat have any clear advantages over traditional sources (soy, grains and legumes, etc. etc.)? I'm no vegetarian, but I suspect a traditional protein-complete meal made by an Indian chef would tantalize me a bit more than a filet de petry dish.


Notes from the underbelly

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It's obvious where the sci-fi community will go with this, but I wonder if it will open a new frontier for guys like Feran Adria. Synthetic meat analogs from the most inspired culinary labohratories.

As far as feeding the hungry, I'm not sure I see the point of this. If the issue is protein and complete nutrition vs. resources, does lab meat have any clear advantages over traditional sources (soy, grains and legumes, etc. etc.)? I'm no vegetarian, but I suspect a traditional protein-complete meal made by an Indian chef would tantalize me a bit more than a filet de petry dish.

Amen. Add to that vegetarian spreads that are Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, and North African in origin. Delicious and nutritious, and bearing no resemblance to a diseased tissue sample from a biopsy.


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Am I the only optimist here? I can see this technology advancing to the point that it is superior to real meat. I don't care about how unnatural it is, just what it tastes like.

To take an example from textiles, current technology has not made synthetic fiber completely superior to natural fibers but there are many applications where synthetic is actually better, e.g. stretch fabrics, techno-fabrics for wicking away sweat, nylon parachutes, etc.

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Am I the only optimist here? I can see this technology advancing to the point that it is superior to real meat. I don't care about how unnatural it is, just what it tastes like.

To take an example from textiles, current technology has not made synthetic fiber completely superior to natural fibers but there are many applications where synthetic is actually better, e.g. stretch fabrics, techno-fabrics for wicking away sweat, nylon parachutes, etc.

It may be meat, but it will never be food.

This is a bad answer to the wrong question.

As for textiles, the recent trend in nano finishes on both natural and synthetic fibers is probably the closest example. The results of all those new untested substances, in massive quantities, flowing into the watershed remains to be seen. I'm old enough to remember the praises sung of the miracle that was DDT.

As long as there is money to be made, we never seem to look before we leap.

- L.

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Look. This may be a corny qualification, but:

1. I love meat, including scrapple, chicken livers, fish, crab, etc.

2. I enjoy cooking quality food.

3. I grew up hunting and butchering deer and took satisfaction in knowing how to both kill and process an animal, as opposed to people whose lifelong interaction with flesh is wrapped in plastic on styrofoam in a giant cooler at Safeway.

4. I know people who raise beef cattle.

Yes, the idea on its surface is bound to turn the noses of cooks, gourmands, "foodies," carnivores, omnivores, locavores, lambavores, S'moreavores, etc. But if you look deeper, it's both bound to happen eventually and not entirely "wrong." Mass-raised meat, for one, is produced under horrible conditions, with horrible inputs and a ton of resources. There is nothing romantic, pure or natural about how 98 percent of our animal protein is produced.

And, with demand for meat growing worldwide (with burgeoning economies in China, etc.), coupled with an ever-growing population, this puts an even greater strain on resources and the environment.

So what if we imagine a world in which millions enjoy a refined, perfected meat-culture as their animal protein, leading to less land devoted to mass stockades, graze and giant pools of pigshit. Then the elite can focus on higher-priced, smaller-scale organically raised heirloom livestock for their tables.

To decry this concept flat-out, from anyone but a vegan, suggests you see nothing wrong with the current state of carnivory. And it's a sorry state.


Edited by chappie (log)

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I don't care about how unnatural it is, just what it tastes like.

KW, you can't mean that!

I'm all for science improving our lives - as long as it's proven to be safe and it's actual useful. Sure, I wish all my meals had full lives, but I'm also practical about it.

TF, I thought of Soylent Green too - and of the late Charleton Heston - I can only imagine what he'd taste like.

Even better, read Margaret Atwood's Oryx & Crake for a dystopic take on genetically modified organisms.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Look. This may be a corny qualification, but:

1. I love meat, including scrapple, chicken livers, fish, crab, etc.

2. I enjoy cooking quality food.

3. I grew up hunting and butchering deer and took satisfaction in knowing how to both kill and process an animal, as opposed to people whose lifelong interaction with flesh is wrapped in plastic on styrofoam in a giant cooler at Safeway.

4. I know people who raise beef cattle.

Yes, the idea on its surface is bound to turn the noses of cooks, gourmands, "foodies," carnivores, omnivores, locavores, lambavores, S'moreavores, etc. But if you look deeper, it's both bound to happen eventually and not entirely "wrong." Mass-raised meat, for one, is produced under horrible conditions, with horrible inputs and a ton of resources. There is nothing romantic, pure or natural about how 98 percent of our animal protein is produced.

And, with demand for meat growing worldwide (with burgeoning economies in China, etc.), coupled with an ever-growing population, this puts an even greater strain on resources and the environment.

So what if we imagine a world in which millions enjoy a refined, perfected meat-culture as their animal protein, leading to less land devoted to mass stockades, graze and giant pools of pigshit. Then the elite can focus on higher-priced, smaller-scale organically raised heirloom livestock for their tables.

To decry this concept flat-out, from anyone but a vegan, suggests you see nothing wrong with the current state of carnivory. And it's a sorry state.

Chappie,

I just want to say that I really appreciate your thoughtful post.

Best,

Alan

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Look. This may be a corny qualification, but:

1. I love meat, including scrapple, chicken livers, fish, crab, etc.

2. I enjoy cooking quality food.

3. I grew up hunting and butchering deer and took satisfaction in knowing how to both kill and process an animal, as opposed to people whose lifelong interaction with flesh is wrapped in plastic on styrofoam in a giant cooler at Safeway.

4. I know people who raise beef cattle.

Yes, the idea on its surface is bound to turn the noses of cooks, gourmands, "foodies," carnivores, omnivores, locavores, lambavores, S'moreavores, etc. But if you look deeper, it's both bound to happen eventually and not entirely "wrong." Mass-raised meat, for one, is produced under horrible conditions, with horrible inputs and a ton of resources. There is nothing romantic, pure or natural about how 98 percent of our animal protein is produced.

And, with demand for meat growing worldwide (with burgeoning economies in China, etc.), coupled with an ever-growing population, this puts an even greater strain on resources and the environment.

So what if we imagine a world in which millions enjoy a refined, perfected meat-culture as their animal protein, leading to less land devoted to mass stockades, graze and giant pools of pigshit. Then the elite can focus on higher-priced, smaller-scale organically raised heirloom livestock for their tables.

To decry this concept flat-out, from anyone but a vegan, suggests you see nothing wrong with the current state of carnivory. And it's a sorry state.

So far this is the best post I've read on eGullet this year. Thank you for your enlightening, literate post, Chappie.


Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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To Kent and Chappie-

I appreciate both of your responses (except for Kent's first statement), but my argument boils down to one sentence: We do not NEED this crap. Period.

To elaborate a bit, it is the wrong answer to the problem of commercial/mass-produced 'protein' that we have today. Stuff like Tyson chicken or Smithfield pork are an abomination IMHO and are as unnatural as the stuff that is being raised in a petri dish. I am not romanticizing these mega-businesses that treat living creatures like nothing more than bags of 'protein'. They are not in it to 'feed the planet', they are in it to make billions. I hope this clarifies my postition concerning '98%' of the available meat in the market. These are the businesses that need to be heavily regulated and forced to raise their standards. The same goes for the consumer who expects to pay 1.99/lb for chicken and thinks it's ok to pay the same thing for potatoes. That is the root of the problem.

By saying that we need to 'grow meat in a petri' dish we are being very simple-minded and narrow-focused and in my skeptical opinion another way to make a ton of money for someone. Animal protein is NOT the only protein out there, as mentioned, before entire civilizations have thrived without it and entire cuisines are more than delicious without using a single meat item. We really DO NOT need it. We WANT it. So, saying we have to do this in order to have food for everyone without killing animals and using resources for these animals is rediculous.

I also want to take this one step further and ask, why should we not kill an animal for meat? Provided it is raised and killed humanely? We can have the best of both worlds, we can eat meat and enjoy it and get it from an animal that lived a decent life. We just cannot do this for every single meal of every single day! As we all know these cows/pigs/chickens are mortal. Right? They will eventually die. If humans who have domesticated them for thousands of years just stop doing that, what will happen to them? They cannot survive in the wild. They will still die, via desease or other wild animals or old age. None of these choices are much better than than providing them with an environment where they can be comfortable and slaughtering them for food. Yes, we are on top of the food chain, animals do taste good and it's only natural for us to eat them.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Sometimes the most important reason for cultivating and eating meat gets forgotten: ruminant animals can convert grasses and shrubs that we can't digest into concentrated, digestible (and delicious) protein. The growth of civilization was made possible in part by dairy farming, in areas where the environment did not support growing vegetables and grains.

Of course, the total amount of dairy and meat that can be sustained by natural grasslands is small ... not enough to put a big mac on every child's plate. But it challenges the idea that meat fundamentally represents a rape of the planet.


Notes from the underbelly

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      I for one must challenge myself to start eating and cooking more avocados.  I think my recipe for guacamole served with chicharrones is superb, and the cobb salad with large chunks of ripe avocado is delicious, but as a close friend recently said, “one person’s ‘not especially new’ is another’s “eureka moment.” Well said and as history tells us, we’ll find plenty of eureka moments as we discuss and share our tales and dishes of avocado during eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado.
       
      Fun fact: The name avocado derives from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” which was also slang for “testicle.”
      See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
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