Test-Tube Meat

Test-Tube Meat

Feb 21

First Synthetic Test Tube Meat Due Out This Fall

The idea of eating meat grown in a lab is admittedly unappetizing. For many, this is an unfortunate step beyond the genetically mutated animals currently waiting to be approved for use in retail foods. But for me, it’s a welcome alternative to our current industrial meat system. Test tube meat may not be so far-fetched, according to the above article, and it offers a great way to meet the current demand for meat while using less land, less oil, and less plant matter, and generating a lot less pollution.

I’m happy to see that the Dutch scientist working on this new laboratory meat is aware of what his research could do for the planet and for our energy crisis, though I’m surprised no companies have offered to fund his work. That suggests to me that test-tube meat that is clearly labeled would be harder to sell than genetically modified, factory farmed meat that is not. In other words, it’s easier to keep something hidden than it is to cast the truth in a positive light. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to figure that out, I suppose. But it also means that the truth is not, on its own, very appealing.

If you find it strange that I support such an unnatural form of production when everything else I promote is wholly natural, consider this: Searching for ways to increase meat production to meet the rising demand for meat is like looking for ways to collect more oil to meet greater demands for energy. It makes sense, from an economical standpoint, but we all know that oil is not a renewable resource and that supplies are starting to dwindle. We simply can’t keep trying to squeeze more oil out of the planet — we have to look for alternative forms of energy. In the same way, the ideal solution for balancing meat production with our planet’s limited space and resources would be to just stop eating meat or cut back on consumption substantially. (It would certainly help our obesity problem.) But, since that is not the popular opinion, let’s put out test-tube meat — a way for everyone to eat as much meat as they want with far fewer negative consequences.

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