....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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Pretty much any technological advancement will result in a shifting of jobs, with some people's jobs being made obsolete and other, new, jobs being created. When automobiles first started being mass produced, the people making buggy-whips and harnesses for horses had their jobs reduced or taken away. When electric lights started being used to light the streets, lamp lighters lost their jobs.

Given the amount of time it would probably take to completely replace the current meat industry with a vat-grown meat industry (years at the least), I'd think that the opportunity to move from one job to another would be available.

Furthermore, in the future, the fewer number of people that might be needed to run the vat farms (I'm guessing automation would be a large part of these places) would free up future workers to work in less repetitive, more productive jobs.

In short, the fact that the job market will change is not a reason to prevent technological or social advancement.


In other news, I think that vat-meat would be a great idea. It's more efficient, far more humane, and subject to far higher controls and standards to ensure proper nutrition.
I'd hit it.
As a vegetarian that still has occasional cravings for meat (after 3 yrs? or so), I would love this and would have no qualms eating it. My main beefs with meat (see what I did there?) are the environmental, animal treatment, and human labor concerns already mentioned. This seems to solve all three. Awesome.
I'm wondering what we'd do with all the livestock we have now? How would you phase them out? What do we do with them?
I'm sure the transition would be slow which would allow for a gradual decrease in livestock as the, um, lab-meat took over market share.
Allow all those lands that were once rainforests and other dynamic ecosystems to be overcome by ecological succession and go back to what they were before we chopped everything down to make grazing land.
You know... I often think about the fact that N. America was once full of bison.
We killed them off and then replaced them with their cousins, the cow.
What has THAT done to the ecosystem?
True, it's a little impossible to imagine bison roaming around downtown Detroit....but with all the efforts to reintroduce wolves back to the wild, why can't we do it with bison?
There are huge freaking expanses of land that are still pretty untamed, especially in the south.

That's it.
I'm starting a meat-vat-factory and wild bison farm!
That's it.
I'm starting a meat-vat-factory and wild bison farm!


Are you taking job applications yet? I call dibs on bison herding!
-Where have Shine and Misty gone?

-Oh, they're out ranglin' up some bison.
I once tried a bison burger. It's pretty tasty stuff. And a lot better for you than regular hamburger meat.
I love bison burgers! The only pastured meats that I have feasible access to right now are ground beef and bison. I alternate buying a pound of one of them a couple times a month.
Just another day at the wild bison farm/meat-vat-factory/atheist commune!

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Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 17 Comments

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