Saturday, December 5, 2009

Petri Pork: One More Step to Ruining Our Food

Well some more Frankenstienish food direct from the lab is coming soon or maybe not. Scientists in Holland have made a soggy flavorless meat like substance from stem cells of muscle tissue from a pig. They initially extracted cells from a pig called myoblasts and then put them into a solution. These cells are hardwired by their DNA to replicate and become muscle tissue.

The scientist claim that cultured pork or meat could save millions of tons in greenhouse gases. However, this will only work if people are willing to eat this type of meat. The Dutch scientists in charge of this experiment are hoping that their work will lead to a larger production of food and help to feed multitudes of people in the coming years. Since you could take muscle cells from one healthy specimen and then multiply them indefinitely in the lab.

This experiment was built off of a similar experiment that scientists in the United States did when they tried to grow fish fillets in a lab from stem cells from a gold fish (can any one say yummm!). Scientists are trying to find a way to toughen up the soggy pork since they believe its limp form is due from not exercising.

“We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there. This product will be good for the environment and will reduce animal suffering. If it feels and tastes like meat, people will buy it.”

The Dutch scientists have received generous funding from a sausage manufacturer and from the Dutch government. Reaction world wide has been mixed from various agencies. PETA has endorsed the experiments whereas farmers are feeling slightly skeptical about it. As for myself and others I have talked about we are just feeling a bit queasy and noxious about the idea.

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