By Thomas Gidney
Out of Maastricht’s mysterious medical department, a new type of science has arisen. It’s not big, it’s not green and it should not terrify the residents of the city (unless you are vegetarian). That new scientific breakthrough that strikes terror into the hearts of Maastricht’s broccoli eating population is meat.
Maastricht University has completed its first batch of laboratory grown bacon, a ghoulish thought for some meat eating traditionalists and an excuse for vegans to scream about why the majority of the population doesn’t give up the real opiate of the people. The meat is grown from stem cells which are manipulated to give a certain muscle to flesh density which is then edible, though in its current form it is probably rather tasteless at this early stage. Yet, this breakthrough is a major prerequisite to a revolutionary new industry in lab grown meat which potentially could change humanity’s millennia old agricultural tradition.
Perhaps more importantly than the sheer novelty of eating petri dish filet mignon is the potential ecological impact this project wields. The truth is that those multitude of blotchy, simple minded and dull eyed herbivores, cows, are inadvertently damaging the planet. Beef production is one of the most wasteful industries in agricultural history. Those slow witted beasts have taken over large tracts of land as they morph into succulent steaks, land which could be used almost 100x more efficiently for crops. Large amounts of crops go to feed these barnyard denizens, crops that when squeezed through the pentuplet stomachs of a cow, releases a cloud of methane, a gas that has 25 times the potency of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
There are an estimated 1.3 billion of these weapons of mass destruction unwittingly farting planet earth to its inevitable downfall, but the introduction of laboratory meat could potentially reduce the necessary amount of cows for meat production to a few thousand. One cow’s stem cells offer the possibility of making the meat that would usually be sliced off from a million cows. For vegetarians that would bring an end to the genocide of meat production, replacing it with several carefully chosen sacrifices instead. Furthermore, as food prices hit record highs coupled with the rapidly increasing demand for meat in India and China, Maastrichtian mince could meet the demand without the devastating ecological consequences.
So the question remains: would you indulge your curiosity by munching on a laboratory lamb chop or does the idea cause you to enter spasms of involuntary wreching? To the noble turnip eaters who defiantly turn their noses up at a well cured, heavenly piece of bacon; will you abandon your ‘meat is murder’ crusade for Frankenstein’s frankfurter?
Answer our poll on whether you would taste the meat and leave a witty comment below.
Find out more in this documentary on revolutionary new scientific inventions and projects: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8tHuFvDSrk&feature=player_detailpage#t=476s
image courtesy of: i09