Meat Without Slaughter

burger                                                                               photo by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

ANDREW C. REVKIN  (x-post from Dot Earth)
Can you have a hamburger without a slaughterhouse?  Michael Specter provides a fresh look at the prospect of growing meat in labs instead offeed lots and pastures in The New Yorker this week.

In a podcast accompanying the article, Specter acknowledges there is “ghoulish” aspect to “lab meat,” but notes that industrial-scale livestock husbandry is ghoulish, as well. He then ticks down the benefits, beyond the ethical one of having meat without slaughterhouses, if this technology can prove profitable. These include less demand for land and pesticides, fewer emissions of methane and more options for developing foods without harmful health impacts.

I’m all for pushing forward on such explorations — along with related efforts to raise shrimp or salmon in closed systems. Yes, having a shrimp “factory” on the outskirts of Las Vegas undercuts the romanticism attending the wordlocavore. But I can live with that if it means more mangroves and healthier waterways.

I also stick with my Dot Earth proposal that foie gras should be the first profitable example of cultivated meat given the super-proliferative nature of liver tissue and the ethical questions related to conventional production of this delicacy.

2 Responses

  1. SOYLENT GREEN… ALL OVER AGAIN

  2. […] the idea of lab-grown, or in vitro meat for a while. We’ve commented about it previously here. PETA has a standing offer of a $1 million monetary incentive for the first successful synthetic […]

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