Robert Slattery is a writer living in Western North Carolina. He enjoys music and all sorts of other things.
Social Issues – For five years running, there has been an odd little competition going on with $1 million at stake. And the challenge? Create fake chicken. It has to smell like it, taste like it, and feel like it. And it’s sponsored by PETA.
The goal is to produce a “cultured” meat (read as “laboratory meat”) and it must never have lived. Further, the product must be able to be produced in mass quantities. At the forefront of this unappealing science is Mark Post, the head of vascular physiology at the Netherlands’ Maastricht University. He has been given a sizable donation by the Dutch government to forward his work, and has so far been able to create small strips of meat. He is working in beef, though, so he will be unable to claim Peta’s prize.
Lab meat offers a solution for the food demands of a growing population. Further, it offers an easier way for those who abstain from eating meat to get nutrients that must otherwise be supplemented.
Laboratory-made meat is a little too “chicken little” for my liking, but if it offers a way to tackle our growing food crisis, it’s a worthwhile exploration.