Lab Meat: Would You Derb It?

Lab Meat: Would You Derb It?

Written by

Basil Godevenos

Posted On

March 23rd, 2013

Modern Meadow Wants to Put Lab-Grown Beef in Our Burgs

A while ago we posted about the environmental impact increasing worldwide demand for beef profligates. It sounds like the premise of a Ren & Stimpy episode, but cow farts ARE killing us. So what if we could eat our delicious burgs without taking them from a live cow with a fully operational (and over-acheiving) gastro-intestinal tract? No cute cows crammed into horrible living conditions, and no cow farts clogging our stratosphere. Sounds great in theory. But could you get over the weirdness of eating meat that was grown in a lab like some kind of science-fictional replacement organ?

Modern Meadow, a bio-science startup based in Missouri, is already taking cells from healthy, living animals and culturing them into edible protein masses (also known as meat!). They aren't all that far away from synthesizing less texture dependent meats like ground beef for burgers and sausages. And according to some of the stats they display on their website, this advancement in food science isn't coming a moment too soon. The human populace is growing and land and water are increasingly becoming rare commodities. Just take burgers for example (since that's our deal here). It takes over 50 gallons of water just to make one of them (over 100 if it has a double patty). Cows drink a lot. And one burger in cow form uses 75 square feet of land - and we can't count the number of burgers in just one cow. The point is eating burgers uses up a lot of resources, and the hidden costs are extremely high.

The bottom line is that something is going to change about the way we eat, because our planet can't sustain our appetite for protein under current practices. Frankly, I'd rather eat lab meat than resort to the creepy crawly alternative. With enough research - Modern Meadow or companies like it might even make meat better tasting and better for us than it is already. And I'm all for that. Are you?

Tell us what you think in the comments.