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In The Meat Cage Match Of The Future, Will Plant-Based Or Petri Dish Win?

Stashed in: Awesome, 3D Printers, World Hunger, Knitta, please!, Meat!, Vegans!, Sergey Brin, World Hunger

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I'll eat anything out of a petri dish!!! /slurp

Can we really knit meat???

Well, this had promise:

By now, you've most likely heard of Beyond Meat, the premiere company for plant-based meat substitutes that taste just like, well, whatever beef, pork, or chicken your stomach is craving. Since 2009, the company's CEO, Ethan Brown, has attempted to redefine the way we talk about the protein. Certain parts of their current PR pitch is identical to the company's early days. "I really think about meat in the following way," Brown says, over the phone. "It's amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, and water. You can think about whether it comes from a cow, but the other way to define meat is what its essential parts are.


Even if McDonald's or Burger King don't partner with a plant-based meat company, someone else presumably will. "If they don't, that would be a bad business decision on their part," says Isha Datar, the Executive Director of New Harvest, an American charity whose mission is to build a progressive food system that is healthy, sustainable, and humane. She is also a believer in the failure of the farm-to-table movement, despite its good intentions. "It's a really awesome thing for people who can afford it, she says. "But it's kind of tied to a level of elitism that it's really not accessible to every person." Like Beyond Meat, her charity looks to produce eggs, milk, meat, leather, and other mass-produced animal products without animals. New Harvest, however, primarily focuses on synthetic meat, literal flesh that's grown in a lab. Currently, there are a small number of companies in the research and development phase in this space, including Modern Meadow, whose co-founder, Andras Forgacs, pioneered the technology used in 3D printing human tissue for medical purposes.

"I'm in favor of all the approaches like lab grown meat," Brown says. "It's all something that's well worth doing. There's a lot of room for permanent solutions." While data suggests people are open to Beyond Meat's products that you can buy at Whole Foods, there isn't necessarily any information on how and when people will accept synthetic meat as another alternative to mass-produced meat. Sure, the tech is there. But it's unbelievably expensive. The first public taste test for a lab-grown burger happened last year, on August 4. Google's Sergey Brin took care of the bill, which ended up being a whopping $330,000. Even though it reportedly tasted okay, it still elicited the disgust of many. "It comes back to this natural, unnatural thing," Datar says. "It's not really a fact-based or reason-based argument."

...but the future seems inconclusive.

Still seems like a better solution than harvesting crickets.

I will eat crickets, because healthful, inexpensive and sustainable!  I just need a few more years to get used to the idea.

I note that you did not employ the words DELICIOUS, FULFILLING, LIFE AFFIRMING, or ENJOYABLE.


Why eat crickets when synthetic meats seem so promising?

I read _Soylent Green_ at a very impressionable age.

But if the meat is synthetic, no problem, right?

The concept of synthetic meat causes me ask myself, "How bad do I want meat?"

And also WHY do you want meat? Is it because your microbiome wants it?

IT'S DELICIOUS, HELLO! The whole point of the new fake meat is to make it taste more like blood, right?

Everyone has a little Captain Maasai in 'em.

So what you're saying is, if we can make decent tasting artificial blood, then we can make decent tasting artificial meat. Makes sense.

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