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Can’t Beat This Meat

January 23, 2010

I told you it was coming.  Yes, that’s right: in vitro meat, even stem cell pork, is on its way to your local grocery store in just a few years (they’re still trying to get the texture right).  I haven’t really thought out all of the objections that vegetarians usually raise, but I think that this would allay almost all of them: no cruelty to animals, highly sustainable, it doesn’t even have the split-hoof issue for all those kosher types.  I guess that some might object to the use of stem cells because it would encourage pigs to get abortions, but come on.

The most important implication, that objectors will probably blithely overlook, is that any development in genetically modified food is essential to developing countries that can’t afford the real deal.  Aside from merely solving shortages, GMOs can solve malnutrition (and the host of second-order problems caused by it, including infectious disease), and puts those populations on the same playing field as the rest of the richer world.  That’s another one of the great things about cellular technology: it’s “viral” and therefore super-cheap (unless you let someone like Monsanto patent it).

Of course, the non-modified food industry probably wouldn’t like the sort of meat that could be programmed to prevent heart attacks, rather than cause them.  This video pretty accurately (if satirically) sums up the state of food in the U.S.:

Reminds me of one of my favorite slogans of all time: Culver City Meat Company’s “You can’t beat our meat!”  Well, maybe you shouldn’t beat your own if you can find someone to do it for you (apparently, you can give yourself prostate cancer!).

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