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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:24 am 
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couroupita wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
I was reading something about the process of culturing this meat (which of course I now can't find) and I believe both dairy and egg proteins were used to feed the culture or something like that. (I'll have to see if I can find that info again.) If that were true, I don't think it would qualify as either vegan or kosher. Still, a step in the right direction over meat from slaughtered animals.

Also, this is an interesting opinion piece by the founder of The Vegetarian Butcher in one of the Dutch papers about why lab-grown meat is actually an obsolete idea. It's in Dutch and too long for me to translate right now, but I suspect google translate will get you pretty far. The basic premise is that the amount of money and effort that is going into the production of lab meat is a waste (this particular burger had the price tag of $325,000) especially when plant-based options are being developed that are so close in structure/taste to real meat that it can fool meat eaters. (Like Bittman tasting Beyond Meat and Ferran Adria tasting the chicken from The Vegetarian Butcher.)

In theory, I agree with him. On the other hand, I know there will be a segment of the population that will never accept plant-based versions of meat, so I'm glad this option is being developed. I do think it's a pity, though, that so much money and resources are being poured into the development of this when alternatives are already available.

ETA: It also appears that artificial growth hormones will likely have to be used for large scale production, and that both collagen and cochineal may be used in production.
I thought they used fetal bovine serum? Which is gross and sad. And expensive and kills cattle so I don't know what they're looking at the alternatives.


That too. Basically, it seems like there are a lot of non-vegan aspects to it beyond the actual meat being grown.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:26 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
I was reading something about the process of culturing this meat (which of course I now can't find) and I believe both dairy and egg proteins were used to feed the culture or something like that. (I'll have to see if I can find that info again.) If that were true, I don't think it would qualify as either vegan or kosher. Still, a step in the right direction over meat from slaughtered animals.

Also, this is an interesting opinion piece by the founder of The Vegetarian Butcher in one of the Dutch papers about why lab-grown meat is actually an obsolete idea. It's in Dutch and too long for me to translate right now, but I suspect google translate will get you pretty far. The basic premise is that the amount of money and effort that is going into the production of lab meat is a waste (this particular burger had the price tag of $325,000) especially when plant-based options are being developed that are so close in structure/taste to real meat that it can fool meat eaters. (Like Bittman tasting Beyond Meat and Ferran Adria tasting the chicken from The Vegetarian Butcher.)

In theory, I agree with him. On the other hand, I know there will be a segment of the population that will never accept plant-based versions of meat, so I'm glad this option is being developed. I do think it's a pity, though, that so much money and resources are being poured into the development of this when alternatives are already available.

ETA: It also appears that artificial growth hormones will likely have to be used for large scale production, and that both collagen and cochineal may be used in production.


I think looking at the initial cost is not very useful. How much does the initial R&d for medication cost? Usually billions. What does it cost after multiple companies compete and produce similar medication? Depends but usually under $100, often much less. You can't account for the R&D costs as the real costs in the future cost of the product.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:40 am 
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Certainly, but the point of the article was more that all the money and resources that are going to be spent in r&d are somewhat of a waste considering that plant-based meats are getting to the point where both flavor and texture-wise, they're similar enough to animal derived meats to fool specialists.

(Of course, it should be noted that the writer of the piece is the founder of the Vegetarian Butcher shop, so he's got a stake in the popularity of plant-based meats.)

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:49 am 
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Yeah and even my husband was like 'just eat seitan!' But I think also there are people allergic, either real or imaginary, to some of the ingredients in veggie meats. So I think lab grown meat would appeal to an entire population that may feel funny about veggie meats.

And although I'm pretty flexible, veggie meats in some areas are better than others. I've yet to see good shredded pork although jackfruit is a decent substitution or something like corned beef. I mean veggie burgers and chicken like things to be really close in flavor and texture but there is a whole range of items not even close.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:28 am 
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i don't think i've ever had real shredded pork, but we use soy curls.
and if it's kinda squeaky, i recommend nature's soy. that's super squeaky. you might be able to get it down in MD.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:01 am 
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Well I've seen pork like products in the stores but they aren't shredded pork which is definitely... different. Like the kind you put in tamales but yeah, I just mean those type of things aren't anything I've seen ever. Jackfruit is definitely the closest.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:20 am 
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are soy curls not small enough? (you can slice them thinner.)
also, nature's soy is shredded. but as for pork flavor and texture i have no idea.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:24 am 
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Oh I didn't see anything on their website indicated a shredded type things but it does list a chicken and beef seitan. Shredded is like individual threads, I don't know if I ever seen a true shredded meat-like product but I could be wrong. Not that I am suffering for lack of shredded pork, I'd just be excited to try it if I found something similar to shredded pork. And culturally, tamales were the hardest thing to give up in going vegan but in the end, I didn't mourn too much for my tamales.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:31 am 
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oh! you're right, now that i think of it, nature's soy is more like tiny chips than threads. (although they may have at one point had threads, i remember eating something from them that kept getting stuck in my teeth. but maybe it was just these chips? *shrug*)

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:38 am 
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The reason I'm not persuaded that plant-based alternatives render vat meat obsolete is that I don't think taste and structure are all there is to the desire for meat. There are cultural reasons almost everywhere in the world to desire meat--it's a high status item, and one that is thought of as especially nutritious (and not totally without cause).

Cubic zirconia is a perfectly good alternative to blood diamonds. But people want "real diamonds", even if they can't tell the difference, because we're glorified apes. So identifying less harmful ways of producing diamonds is desirable. The same logic applies to meat.

The only worrisome part here is that people might decide that it's not "real beef" unless you chop it out of a cow. I hope not, and I don't think so, but who knows. I mean, have you met people? They're the worst.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:56 am 
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Yeah, I think you're right, mumbles. Still, I thought it was an interesting argument in the opinion piece because it might persuade some folks that plant meat is actually worth trying now instead of waiting for lab meat to be available and affordable.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:05 am 
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mumbles wrote:
Cubic zirconia is a perfectly good alternative to blood diamonds. But people want "real diamonds", even if they can't tell the difference, because we're glorified apes. So identifying less harmful ways of producing diamonds is desirable. The same logic applies to meat.


Agreed. So we need to get DeBeers into the faux meat market, because they are evil marketing geniuses. A tofu is forever.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:18 am 
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If only more evil marketers would use their powers for good.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:51 pm 
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This is all sounding creepily like the manga BioMeat which I'm actually in the middle of (and highly recommend- the main cast becomes vegetarians!). I knew it would happen eventually, but I didn't expect it this soon.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:19 am 
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There was an interesting piece about this in the Washington Post today. Specifically, it was about why humans crave the taste of meat, and why people did not respond to labmeat the same way. Apparently up to 95% of meat's taste is actually from its aroma. I imagined veggie restaurants using meat-scented candles and sprays to make people think their plant-based meat alternatives taste more like meat.
People's desire for meat comes from the mix of fat and umami. Since these burgers didn't have fat, the test group thought they were tasteless and not comparable to real meat. The good news is that the Dutch professor who created the lab meat said that it will take only a couple of months to figure out how to attach fat tissue to the muscle fibers.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:50 am 
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Great points, but if "they" can grow meat artificially they can probably artificially reproduce those chemicals too. I'm thinking about what I read in "Fast Food Nation" years ago had McDonald's had a lab dedicated to producing "oh wow" chemicals for taste.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:55 am 
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I've kind of lost faith in the "growers" that they didn't realize something needed fat to taste as good as fat-filled real meat burgers. That's like Eating 101.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:00 am 
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Fee wrote:
I've kind of lost faith in the "growers" that they didn't realize something needed fat to taste as good as fat-filled real meat burgers. That's like Eating 101.


It is a first try. The people involved are probably scientists and engineers, not chefs. There is a lot of need for artificial meat beyond the AR/environmental thing with a lot of wealth as a reward. It will happen.

I would bet that if a similar amount of money was used to make a team of chefs, food scientists like McDonald's has ( as per "Fast Food Nation" ) that team could probably make something lower tech, maybe more "natural" that mainstream people would be happy with.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lab-grown meat" a reality!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Via VeganGMO’s Twitter feed.

TED - Andras Forgacs: Leather and meat without killing animals

Forgacs lays down reasons, that I’ve already expressed in this thread, why growing leather is the most viable lab-cultured creation and best gateway to acceptance of bio-engineering animal products.

I’m very skeptical that lab meat will be significantly adopted in my lifetime so I just can’t get excited by it.

But lab leather? As Forgac explains, it is a much simpler engineering project and doesn’t have the degree of cultural barriers that meat does. He basically has the product in his hand. Compared with the recently profiled lab burger that has no fat, needs food coloring, etc, lab leather is already so much closer to feasible commercialization.


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