Dr. Dean

Would You Eat Steak Off The Petri Dish Instead Of The Hoof?

Posting Date: 12/01/1999

If you?re a vegetarian on moral grounds ? you don?t want animals killed for food ? there may soon be an alternative way to put meat in your diet.

A Dutch research team says it can mass produce cell cultures from cows, sheep, chicken and even shellfish. The scientists have already taken small samples of cells and have grown what they call "enormous quantities" of cells in a very short time, according to a report in New Scientist.

The animal cells are cultivated in nutrients in a spongy matrix of collagen, which is like the glue that holds the body together. The result is a slab of animal meat ? but is it really a steak or lamb chop?

Would you eat mass-produced, industrial-scale flesh? That?s what it really is, but it doesn?t come from killing animals.

Of course, there are vegetarians who simply can?t stand meat. One of my sons just turned 30 and he hasn?t eaten meat since the day he was born. He doesn?t even like to be around it, so this new style of cultured meat wouldn?t appeal to him.

This research shows how far we?re going in engineering foods, but it doesn?t give me a hint about how appetizing it may be.

Source: New Scientist, Nov. 6, 1999