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The Forum > Article Comments > Carni-copia a meat eaters dream or a burger with the lot > Comments

Carni-copia a meat eaters dream or a burger with the lot : Comments

By Roger Kalla, published 13/8/2013

In vitro cultures could allow Macca's to sell PETA-approved, environmentally friendly burgers topped off with a tick from the Heart Foundation.

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This could work

Probably will.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Tuesday, 13 August 2013 11:50:18 AM
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Just a couple of questions/observations Roger.

Where are the nutrient to produce this rather dry burger going to come from.

Your first suggestion that producing "meat" in a laboratory will free up arable land is so far off the mark in Oz, & most meat producers as to be funny. Most grazing land is used for that purpose, because it is not much use for any thing else. Those pastures are unlikely to provide the nutrients, unless you can design your machinery to eat grass.

That would be a bit like redesigning the wheel, when we have livestock designed, some would say by a higher authority, to convert that grass to meat already.

It is bad enough that some industrialists are now converting perfectly good grain to auto fuel, It does not make much sense to stop using the self propelled meat factories we now have, & build big factories to do the same job.

Surely to produce the nutrients, harvest & transport them to a factory to convert them to synthetic meat is going to use much more energy than the current system using existing mammals adapted to converting those nutrients for us.

So in other words, I guess I'm saying, why bother
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 13 August 2013 12:32:14 PM
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This article, to me, seems to be a bit of bull.

How will the running of the bulls take place if meat comes out of a lab? And what about bullfighting and bull-riding?

I'd like to meat the people who came up with this idea and udders who might be involved. I think a steak through the heart would be appropriate for them though goring might also work wonders.

The bliss of eating a piece of T-bone steak that's pink on the inside and just slightly burned on the outside complemented by a glass of red wine is one of life's little pleasures. There are already few enough!

It cannot be replaced by some beetroot-stained, cellular mush created in a test tube by some mad scientist!
Posted by David G, Tuesday, 13 August 2013 4:10:45 PM
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I expected more of a techno-phobe response to this, as would be expected of the older crowd here at OLO. Although hasbeen is correct in his criticisms, I think he forgets that technology is not invented in the perfected form. Exactly the same arguments could be made regarding replacing the horse with the car. Issues of efficiency, cost and the final product (taste, texture etc.) will improve over time. If they do not meet our financial and cultural exceptions, then it will not be successful. Mooing cows will always be available to those who want them.

The potential in this system actually lies in its efficiency (well potential efficiency). To explain, while we currently "grow" entire cows, only to use a small proportion of the animal for food, what we are doing here is only growing only the exact parts that we want to consume. This eliminates the waste of using nutrients to maintain non-meat functions. While current systems are not developed to expand cells cheaply and at large scale (the entire field is still very new), industrial progress will not only benefit the food industry but also my own medical field. To write it off at this stage would be a major mistake. I am a bit less optimistic regarding the potential health benefits. Not due to technology, but rather the fact that this will most likely be adopted by large scale manufacturers like Maccas etc. We will probably just end up getting the same terrible burger meat, just at lower cost. As much as I love my meat, I have to admit that scientifically, many of the world food and health problems can be achieved by simply eating less meat. Easier said than done.

P.S. David, I appreciate a good pun or two :)
Posted by Stezza, Tuesday, 13 August 2013 11:25:05 PM
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Sorry Stezza, but I can't let that go. Even as the local petrol head, I have to argue the benefits of replacing the horse with the car. There are many advantages of the horse, that are not really appreciated.

Firstly if I have not used one of my cars for a couple of weeks it is quite likely it will not talk to me, as it's battery will be flat. This never happens with my old stallion, every time he sees me he will give me a whinny, & come over wanting to go for a ride. Even after months he is still ready, & willing

He drops his fertilizer in heaps, ready to spread where I want it, where the car distributes it to everyone in gas form, & some people actually complain about that.

My car uses expensive hydrocarbons, hated by greenies, where my horse fuel is fully renewable, & he helps protect my home from bushfires, by keeping the fuel down. He is even an efficient compost machine, turning wormy apples, carrots, stale bread & watermelon skins into fertiliser over night.

The horse has been in service for just over 20 years, without going rusty, or needing polishing or repainting, hell he hasn't even needed an oil change.

Even better, he has reproduced himself, with the help of my daughter's mare absolutely for free, a number of times, where we seem to have to replace most of our cars reasonably regularly, at considerable expense.

Lastly Kew gardens in the UK have a grape vine that produces over a ton of grapes every year. The only treatment it gets is they bury a dead horse beside it every second year. Let's see you do that with a car.

Oh I gather you have not frequented many abattoirs recently. I think you will find that there is so little wasted from a beast most of their garbage is workers lunch packaging.

On the health thing, wait a year & those same nutritionists will be telling you we should eat more meat, that is how they sell new books.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 2:11:25 AM
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Can't really argue with that logic. I suppose you would also argue that is was a shame that we used the horse to replace an even more superior mode of travel. You know, rolling down hills yelling "weeeeee!".
Posted by Stezza, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 7:40:39 AM
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