To Serve Man: The Implications of Lab-Grown Meat

from the classic Twilight Zone: To Serve Man

Yesterday Brian told us that Pork Meat 'Grown' in Labs to be Sold in Grocery Stores as Soon as 2014. Andrew Sullivan points us to an article about the implications and changes that will happen when we have lab-grown meat, by the wonderfully named Frank Hyena. He makes some sense when he writes:

In-Vitro Meat (IVM)-- aka tank steak, sci fi sausage, petri pork, beaker bacon, Frankenburger, vat-grown veal, laboratory lamb, synthetic shmeat, trans-ham, factory filet, test tube tuna, cultured chicken, or any other moniker that can seduce the shopper's stomach -- will appear in 3-10 years as a cheaper, healthier, "greener" protein that's easily manufactured in a metropolis.


Mr. Hyena lists some of the benefits and problems:

Bye Bye Ranches:
Slow-grown red meat & poultry will vanish from the marketplace, similar to whale oil's flame out when kerosene outshone it in the 1870's. Predictors believe that IVM will sell for half the cost of its murdered rivals.

Real Estate Upheaval:
Rural real estate values will plummet as vast tracts of ranch land are abandoned and sold for a pittance.

Other benefits include a healthier planet (goodbye carbon footprint of beef), healthier humans, (less fat), and perhaps his oddest suggestion (and the source of our title)

Exotic & Kinky Cuisine.

In-Vitro Meat will be fashioned from any creature, not just domestics that were affordable to farm. Yes, ANY ANIMAL, even rare beasts like snow leopard, or Komodo Dragon. We will want to taste them all. Some researchers believe we will also be able to create IVM using the DNA of extinct beasts -- obviously, "DinoBurgers" will be served at every six-year-old boy's birthday party.

Humans are animals, so every hipster will try Cannibalism. Perhaps we'll just eat people we don't like, as author Iain M. Banks predicted in his short story, "The State of the Art" with diners feasting on "Stewed Idi Amin." But I imagine passionate lovers literally eating each other, growing sausages from their co-mingled tissues overnight in tabletop appliances similar to bread-making machines.

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