Monday, April 21, 2008

"Blechs" Prize

PETA Offers $1 Million For Test-Tube Meat

Putting aside whether or not this goes against PETA's mission statement... eww. Meat grown in a test tube actually sounds kind of gross. I mean, part of what makes meat good is the texture, right? Muscles need to be used to develop that texture; I don't think there's a way to make muscles without all the support structure that goes with them, and once you start building that... well, why don't you just raise cattle?

But the bigger picture is more disturbing. No matter how much it may discomfit PETA to think about it, this process is going to require energy. Cows and chickens ultimately get most of their energy from the sun, which is free. Laboratories are generally not solar powered, which means more fossil fuel consumption than producing beef the old-fashioned way, most likely. I really don't think this is the solution.

PS: Someone is going to remind me that fossil fuels are also mostly solar energy, which is true. But they're and indirect form, I'm talking about a two-step process: plants make sugars and starches, cows/people/insects eat sugars and starches to sustain life.

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