Would You Eat Meat Grown In a Lab?
In an age where knowledge is power, and easy to access, it is no wonder we have created our ability to strategically choose what we want to “know”- especially about meat we are eating. Another name for this phenomenon reports Grist is “strategic ignorance”. We usually don’t want to actually think about where meat comes from, instead we ignore it at all costs, and apply our ignorance.
A woman by the name of Core Van der Weele, a bioethicist in the Department of Applied Philosophy at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, has been studying a possible way to free us from our strategic ignorance - cultured meat.
Van der Weele first heard of cultured meat in 2003 at an art exhibit in France called “Disembodied Cuisine”. Artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr grew pieces of frog meat in a lab from a living frog’s cells, and then proceeded to feed the results to diners in a gallery while the frog who supplied its cell watched close-by.
In 2013, cultured meat gained popularity when Maastricht University tissue engineer Mark Post conducted his famous “frankenburger” taste test. Post took a muscle biopsy from a cow, and continued the process until he held a patty in his hand - that with just a little seasoning - was ready for the grill!
It is tough to say what the future of cultured meat will be, considering only 10 research labs, and three companies are currently working on the stuff. “Cultured meat is something that is very worth pursuing, but that pursuit is not taking place,” states Isha Datar, the executive director of New Harvest, a nonprofit that supports early-stage biotech researchers developing sustainable ways to make animal products. Proponents in favor of lab meat are encouraged by the potential for a more environmentally friendly animal protein. According to a 2011, research study based on theoretical data,cultured meat incurred approximately 7 - 45% lower energy use during development.
What do you think, would you eat meat grown in a lab, or do your prefer the real stuff? To learn more about cultured meat, check out the link to the Grist article at the link below.