28 June 2009
In Vitro Meat ~ Growing Racks of Muscle in Vats?
Feeding cows and pigs food grains to fatten them up for the slaughter is certainly the time-tested method of making meat. And I think everyone should participate at least once in the full "value chain" of the meat-making process so you are fully informed and even ethically comfortable with it -- for example, watch the Dutch TV show which has you Meet Your Meat. But perhaps there's a more resource efficient way to produce meat for food? Hence the idea of In Vitro Meat -- muscle grown on racks in vats and harvested for human consumption. By culturing muscle cells into tissues in an artificial bath of nutrients and stimulating the growth of large swaths of muscle mass, we should be able to create large quantities of Grade AAA beef, lamb, chicken, pig, and other tasty delectables. Think of it as "brewing beef" instead of "raising cattle". The only real limiting factor then becomes energy input. So this is one of ways we convert the global food crisis into a global energy challenge -- and that's where we bring in solar, nuclear, and other plentiful power solutions.