So it turns out that my mind is about 20 years ahead of where it should be, as I assumed they’d already be able to create meat in laboratories. I have no idea why – maybe it’s down to all the sci-fi I ingest and all the videogames I play that are about… scientists… with vats of meat… or something.
Well it turns out they can create meat in labs, but not as well as I’d have assumed. Read this, or at least a bit of it if you can’t be bothered with all of it, and come back here. Or don’t – I mean, the Grauniad is a good read anyway so I understand if you prefer it to coming back here. Try Cracked.com while you’re going, too. They do good internets over there.
Anyway, lab-grown meat. It’s a reality, but the tech isn’t there to make it commercially viable. Yet. Later this year Heston Blumenthal will be cooking a burger of lab-made meat that will have cost about £200,000 to make. That’s a lot. But hey, DVD players cost about £500 at the turn of the century. Now you get them free with your chips that you eat every single day of your life.
Barring an oil industry/electric car-style crackdown on the development and tech behind fake meat – feat – we’ll see it available to buy and eat and throw at people in… I don’t know how long. But at some point.
Would you eat it? I would. Though having said that, I’d eat most anything as long as it isn’t an onion.
But what about veggies and vegans? It takes a lot of the cruelty complaints out of the equation, true, but an animal does have to die at some point in the chain for the science bods to be able to create hundreds of tons of meat. Does that make it more acceptable to those who are opposed to meat on cruelty grounds? Is it still too much if there’s even one death to feed hundreds – thousands – of people?
Genuinely quite interested in this, I have to say. And I do hope they sort it so we can reclaim our fields and turn them into large, faceless shopping centres or something.