....seems to be a hot topic right now!
I humbly present to you:

http://www.damninteresting.com/meat-o-matic

A few years ago, researchers at NASA fried up several chunks of vat-grown fish meat in a little olive oil, garlic, lemon and pepper, and
remarked on it’s striking to similarity to real fish (without going so
far as tasting it). These scientists had successfully coaxed a few
small chunks of fish muscle to grow inside a vat of nutrient-rich
liquid, marking a scientific first.

Their aim was to develop a means for astronauts to produce edible meat for use on long voyages, such as a trip to Mars. Vat-grown meat offers a good source of protein, and would be a welcome change from the
usual freeze-dried fare. But it isn’t very appetizing, particularly
considering that meat developed in this way is essentially a cultured
muscle tumor.

More recent efforts at the University of Maryland have led to some new methods which may prove useful on the road to Meatville, with the intent to bring “in vitro” meat to the masses. And they think they may
be able to improve on nature’s recipe while they’re at it.

From the UniverseToday article:

“There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat,” says Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. “For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example,
most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high
cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could
replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.

“Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn’t need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat.”

Jason Matheny and his team suggest two viable approaches for the meat-o-matic of the future: It could be grown on thin, flat membranes and then stacked to achieve thickness; or it could be cultured on tiny
beads, then harvested and made into processed meats like chicken nuggets
or ground beef. Either way, to get the taste and texture right, the
meat will need to be stretched and exercised as it goes, just like a
real animal muscle would be.

This technology could spell the end of moral vegetarianism, since animals would no longer be part of the meat-producing process. But it raises some interesting questions… For instance, would it be acceptable
to use one of these machines to produce meat based on human muscle
tissue? Practically speaking, human meat is extremely nutritious to
humans, and such vat-grown man-burgers would not have originated from a
human. There would also be no risk of cannibalism-related diseases.
But on the other hand… Ew.

Because the idea of vat meat isn’t particularly appetizing, one has to wonder whether these meat machines will become the source of cheap meat for the massive underclass of the future. The rich will dine on
corn-fed Iowa beef while the poor masses slave away in the underground
factories, lunching on cultured meat tumor-chow laced with
obedience-enhancing drugs. It seems almost inevitable.

If the world embraces the technology, all of this might one day be accomplished by an appliance churning away on your kitchen counter… producing whatever meat you desire from a small packet of “seed” cells.
Gone would be the concerns of animal welfare, slaughterhouse
cleanliness, and livestock-related environmental impact. In theory, one
cell of meat could be cultured enough to provide for the meat demands
of the entire world.


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I am so all for cultured meat. That would really revolutionize how we feed ourselves. Our bodies and taste buds won't know the difference. We could get rid of factory farming and a good deal of animal mistreatment with this. Also, imagine all the resources we could save by reducing the need for farm land for animal grazing. Growing the crops necessary to create the reactants for cultured meat processes wouldn't be too hard. I wonder if this will give future astronauts exploring the outer reaches of our solar system a source of meat...
Man-burgers for me. If it's good for me and tastes good, what do I care where the source tissue came from? Hell, I will gladly use my own cells to grow some me-burgers. Imagine that - we could get together with friends for me, him, her and that guy-burger tastings. I can't wait for this to become industrial.
As long as the human meat has been produced in the lab and assayed against viral, bacterial, and prion infections. One major reason why we really should never eat human meat or meat from primates is that the risk of prion diseases (brain encephalopathies and such). There have been cannibal societies in the past, but it is suspected that many of them suffered from diseases caused by eating infected tissues. Kuru is one of the biggest cases: http://www.as.ua.edu/ant/bindon/ant570/Papers/McGrath/McGrath.htm

So, ya, I'm all for eating some cultured human meat, but there are some risks. Fortunately, most prion disorders that we know of are neurological and since we won't be growing the brain tissue with the muscle tissue the risk should be fairly easy to avoid.
wow..does that mean i would be able to enjoy a juicy beef steak one day without feeling guilty??
As an ethical vegan, I am for it. I might even eat it to help create market demand for it - although I might have to get really drunk first to get beyond the ick factor of eating flesh.

As for poor labor conditions in meat lab factories, I think it would be an improvement over the poor worker conditions on factory farms and slaughterhouses - these places have the highest rates of illegal immigrant workers and child laborers and also the highest turn over rates and injury rates of any industries on the country.
We could also simply reduce our meat consumption as a population, thereby reducing the need for industrial cattle "farms" That way when we do eat meat we could enjoy it more know it was free-range and antibiotic/hormone-free. But that is just me.
Agreed. Americans eat way too much meat and then think they can balance it out by tossing in some fruits and veggies every once in a while. We produce too much meat product too, alot of it has to be thrown out of the stores without ever having been bought. Just moderating our consumption and production of meat would solve many of the problems in the meat industry as well as alot of our health problems.
But yeah...growing meat for astronauts? Totally awesome.
I agree with you both and would like to expand portion reduction to everything that we consume. Have you ever seen any comparisons of portion sizes from past decades as compared with today? Our modern portions are usually two to three times the size of what used to be standard; many of today's "kid" sizes were once considered full adult portions. Here are some photo comparisons of portion sizes, then and now.
Not that I'm making this argument, but that would mean job loss for thousands of farmers, fishermen, butchers, etc, etc, etc... (anyone whose living even slightly depends on livestock).

I agree that this is a great solution (though somewhat nauseating, but I'd get over it) and those people should find better ways of bringing in income anyway, but this would create a HUGE population of people who are now jobless, potentially very poorly educated, and not very marketable. What to do about them?
Well, we'd need someone to work in the meat-vat-factories!
Ohhh ok... I was under the impression we'd all be growing our own meat-tumors in our kitchen lab sets. I guess that'll come later... Well great! Sign me up for some artificially-grown pork chops! (does that mean there will be no more gristle to contend with?!)
But even then we would still create jobs to manufacture the kitchen lab sets!

Get Washington on the phone, we're solving the unemployment crisis!

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