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Lab-grown meat will never feed the world or be commercially viable


Artificial meat
(NaturalNews) Last summer (2013) in London, a couple of European food critics sampled the first lab-made meat hamburgers, testing for taste and texture. The reviews were mixed with some compliments, but without the complete taste satisfaction that one normally gets from cooked animal flesh. The burgers were from lab meats produced at the Netherlands' Maastricht University.

Despite the mixed reviews with thumbs up on texture and bite but thumbs down on overall taste, Professor Mark Post, the scientist behind producing the burger, remarked: "It's a very good start. This was just to show we can do it." Regarding marketability, he added that "it will take a while."

He explained that the meat was made up of tens of billions of lab-grown cells produced from stem cells from a cow. Google co-founder Sergey Brin contributed $330,000 toward this research. But Maatricht University isn't the only experimental station for Frankenmeat.

The scientist's lab used a painstaking step by step approach to culture the serums which grew the cells to create small patches of Frankenmeat that could be patched together into a larger clump, like a burger or steak. There are a few others working on the same project throughout the world.

Meet meat makers with high hopes

In order to create enough of this Frankenmeat to satisfy any sort of demand, there will have to be a methodology that improves on Maastricht's approach. It appears that 3D printing may be the solution. Modern Meadow, a U.S. company, intends to use 3D technology to print leather and meat.

They're funded by PayPal founder Peter Thiel, and they intend to advance "the future of humanely sourced meat."

This newly burgeoning technology also goes by the names stereolithography and 3D layering. Basically, it involves using a 3D computer image to run a robot-like machine to layer materials accordingly and produce an actual material object.

This technology was developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the 1990s. A company called 3D Systems was also involved with developing this new technology. Since then, a few others have been granted licenses by those two 3D patent holders to use that machinery their way.

Currently there are a few companies using this technology, but mostly for manufacturing plastic, metal or ceramic items.

See, instead of ink, the printer nozzles squirt the material of choice, and similar to CT scan technology, layered images are produced from within the 3D image to be reproduced materially by the "printer," one layer over another until the item is reproduced in the physical world.

What's scary is how many jobs will be destroyed in the future as this technology is developed. A playable plastic saxophone was created and successfully demonstrated this way recently. The 3D printer material of choice for Frankenmeat will be serum containing reproduced muscle tissue from animal stem cells.

The meat makers wish to use this 3D technology to eliminate the need for factory farming and its inhumane animal practices as well as eliminate factory farming's polluting environmental damage runoff from CAFOs (controlled animal feeding operations) and the methane gas produced by the animals grouped together.

Not everyone agrees that this proposed venture is a solution to world hunger, including one of the pioneering meat maker scientists who made the first test tube meat at Harvard and now heads SymbioticA labs at the University of Western Australia, Oron Catts.

Catts asserts, "I think in-vitro [petri dish] meat is a fantastic way of introducing novelty foods for the rich. It's never going to be a way to feed the world - there's no way to upscale the process to that level. The world will never be fed by factory-grown meat."

Others, this author included, thinks the solution should be to simply greatly decrease the demand for eating meat and ban factory farming along with torturous mass murder slaughter houses.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.bbc.com

http://computer.howstuffworks.com

http://www.cnet.com

http://www.sott.net
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