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  1.  (6868.1)
    Apparently we no longer have to go through raising and slaughtering animals just to obtain tasty, tasty meat. The Cocoon, a concept cooker that grows meat and fish from heated animal cells in a process that looks disturbingly similar to magic animal growing capsules. Full article here.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    It says,

    The meat's muscle cells, nutrients, and oxygen are heated for a preset time, and voila, delicious meat is born, sans the whole killing animals part.

    In addition to preventing animal slaughter, the cooker is designed to address food shortages around the world. It's a controversial idea, to say the least, but it could also be a quick and easy way to get nutrients from meat products to populations that often have unhealthy diets.

    I wonder which "populations that often have unhealthy diets" they're thinking of? Why not just eat the nutrients?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    Ok, but, at least for beef, the fact that it comes from an animal isn't necessarily the appeal. A good steak is many more things than just meat, such as the age of the cow when slaughtered, the marbeling, the cut, how the cow was fed and raised, whether or not the meat was aged/smoked/cured after being butchered.

    Would meat grown in this fashion have all of the same nutrients that came from a living animal?

    Yay for possibly adding another arsenal for combating food shortages but I don't see this replacing my rib-eye anytime soon.
  2.  (6868.4)
    i think i'll stick with my tofu.
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    Hasn't this been pitched for a couple of years now? I remember reading ages ago that they were planning on doing something like that for astronauts...

    I'll continue to be skeptical until I see it in an kitchen store and the "packs" of meat cost significantly less than (what I'm assuming will be) about $30 for a pack of two, which is a far cry from fine family dining.
  3.  (6868.6)
    these things, i just dont get. if you want to eat meat, eat meat. if not, dont. it seems pretty cut and dry.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009

    It's not necessarily about wanting to eat meat or not.

    For some people, they do not eat meat because they are against the raising and slaughtering of animals solely for eating (although hunting is ok for some of these people). They're not against eating meat per se, they just don't want to have guilty consciences about them

    Me? I'll keep eating my burgers and chops and thank anyone who respects that choice as I respect theirs.
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    but it's the suffering that makes it tasty
  4.  (6868.9)

    i am well aware of vegetarian/veganism politics. i would say that for me, it seems to cheapen BOTH sides. it also seems to me that it serves only to make people feel ok with their choices, so they can continue being condescending.

    i am like you however, and i do eat poultry and pig. i just dont think you can seperate "meat" into something like that in order to ignore the killing/treatment side of it.
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    I believe they're already doing something similar in Japan, growing animal parts from stem cells. Trouble is, it costs something like US$10,000/kilo...
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    One of the finalists in the competition was a fridge that had food teleported into it from around the world. So, I somehow think this was a "concept" competition as opposed to a competition for real products.

    There's several problems with growing meat in vitro like this: one is the cost; the other is you tend to get shapeless blobs that are really only good for stuff like hamburger patties and chicken nuggets. Plus a lot of the prototypes designed so far rely on animal-derived nutrients so they don;t really solve the ethical problem either.

    After close to 50 years of enthusiastically devouring pretty much everything that flew, walked, swam or crawled I'm on a meat-free diet at the moment for health reasons. So if I can't benefit from this I don't see why the rest of you should.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009
    > Trouble is, it costs something like US$10,000/kilo

    That would be worth-while, if it were a human kidney or similar.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
    Kosmo nails it. From the article:
    The Cocoon, a concept cooker that grows meat and fish from heated animal cells

    Electrolux hasn't committed to researching whether the device is feasible

    Several years ago on Slashdot I saw an article about a successful attempt to make meat grow in vitro, so there is some science behind there. Although, as I recall, the achievement was making a bit of flesh cut from an animal grow a bit bigger in a nutrient bath, rather than growing it from cells to plate. Also I think it was prime cut of goldfish...

    I guess one big advantage of this technology, if it ever gets to the table, is that it might end up being a more efficient way to turn grain into meat than raising whole animals. That would free up crops/cropland to directly feed people. Might save a bit of rainforest, if there's any left to save by the time it gets out of the lab.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009

    if someone is veggie for ethical reasons then I don't see why something like this cheapens their moral argument, just like eating meat-free "burgers" or "sausages" doesn't.
    • CommentAuthorcallisto23
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
    Just what you need to clone and eat yourself. Cannibalation?
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
    Autocannibalisation for the win.
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
    The only thing more disturbing than a machine growing meat is a machine consuming meat (well, technically 'biomass').


    The defense research agency has announced they'll be funding the EATR project—the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot—which aims to build a lumbering mechanical creature that lives off of flesh, both plant and animal:

    EATR is an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance military missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling. The patent pending robotic system can find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment, as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, propane and solar) when suitable.

    It's actually a steam-powered machine, which employs a biomass furnace that can be fed by all manner of organic materials, harvested with its "gripper" claw and chainsaw.

  5.  (6868.19)
    ....nobody reads my website OR my Wired UK column....
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009
    No crying on Whitechapel!