Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pharming the Future

Jen and I have been talking about this piece for several weeks now. Notably, it was published in 2007, and to my knowledge this stuff hasn't made it to supermarkets yet. But is this form of meat product inevitable simply because, once they get it down, it will be easier and cheaper to produce? Will those who base their vegetarianism on objections to animal suffering be satisfied with this? That is, with no pig to suffer, is it bacon for all? Or will it now be possible for all 6 billion of us to eat meat "sustainably"? Thoughts welcome.

3 comments:

  1. ms sweetness and lightJanuary 18, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    "in a nutrient broth" OK, guys, what's in that???? i think if you do your research you may find it includes things like fetal bovine serum, epidermal growth factor, bovine pituitary extract etc etc it is not so easy to grow "stem cells" without added complex factors and extracellular matrix molecules.

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  2. True, it's not simple. Still, I wouldn't be shocked if, within our lifetimes, meat starts being grown in labs. And once that happens, all the expense and inconvenience of keeping actual animals can be done away with, which should make "in-vitro farming" cheaper than actual farming. When & if that happens, we'll be facing the biggest challenge yet to farming as we know it...

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  3. This seems like a relevant, and more recent, article too: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=410238&c=1 (About the lessons one can learn from raising chickens.)

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