Using the stem cells of cattle along with other ingredients, one scientists’ group is currently working so that the world is convinced that there exists some meat that’s environmentally friendly and could be made in lab. Dr. Mark Post, a scientist working on this project, explains its importance.
There wasn’t any animal that died for making this burger nor any blood got shed over slaughterhouse floor. Though, the vegans and vegetarians are not lining up as yet for a mouthful.
On Monday, Mark Post, the researcher who is Netherlands-based, served the burger grown in lab to the taste testers with carefully invited London audience in the front. He said he grew the meat fully in lab, using the stem cells taken from cattle that was nourished in broth of some chemicals and also carefully engineered for growing into strips that resemble muscle tissue.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a most vocal organization for animal welfare in the world, is on the board with idea of meat which is cultured. Though, according to Ingrid Newkirk, its leader, she wouldn’t be trying that herself soon. And many vegans and vegetarians appear to have the same feeling.
Newkirk said, “I don’t need to. Any flesh food is totally repulsive to me. But I am so glad that people who don’t have the same repulsion as I do will get meat from a more humane source. This gets rid of the yuck factor.”
According to Post, he spent around $325,000 for developing this burger.
But Liz O’Neill, spokeswoman for Vegetarian Society, said that it wasn’t yet a food that could be said animal-free.
Just as Newkirk, O’Neill also says that it sounds good having an option. She said, “The Vegetarian Society is keeping an open mind. Some people are excited by it. Some people miss the taste of meat.”
Charles Stahler, spokesman for Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) that’s Baltimore-based said that there were many meat alternatives which are tasty and available in market now, ranging from chicken nuggets for vegetarian to Tofurky.
VRG commissioned one Harris Poll during 2011 which asked the people about the food types they’d eat. This included one question regarding “buying any meat alternative that was grown from the DNA of animal cell obtained ten years ago that doesn’t currently involve raising of the animals”.
Only 11% of the ones polled said that they’d buy this and only 2% vegans said that they would. 4% percent people identified as either vegetarians or vegans said they would buy such product.
According to Stahler, “Four to five percent of the country is vegetarian or vegan. It’ll eventually come down to taste and economics.”
He says that in twenty years’ time, he might try this even himself.
While this meat would be acceptable for some vegetarians, it isn’t kosher in true sense. The beef grown in lab will be considered as kosher, as said by Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz from West Side Institutional Synagogue situated in New York, though if it only was made by using the tissue from one kosher animal ritually slaughtered. Post used one biopsy from live cow, to serve as stem cells that were living, for this process.
Strulowitz said that it will be required that the animal be slaughtered as according to the Jewish law prior to harvesting cells as meat from live animal isn’t kosher.
What about wannabe vegetarians who feel guilty about eating meat but just can’t give it up?
For the wannabe vegetarians, like Morrison, Colo’s Marta Nelson, the ones who have the feeling of guilt about consuming meat yet cannot stop themselves, would pay some extra money to have meat which would relieve them of the feeling of guilt.
According to Newkirk, that’s appeal of engineered meat —attracting meat-eaters. The group she has is offering prize of $1 million for anyone who could make chicken in test tube. It is one way of reducing the suffering, PETA thinks.
The people who eat meat already should not be disappointed by details of the burger made by Post, she said. She thinks it was real burger that was made of some real meat and all that’s different is that it’s not from any filthy slaughterhouse; instead, from sterile laboratory.
Many vegetarians say that they wish to avoid cruelty to the animals. Though, they cite the protection of environment as one close second included in their reasons for avoiding meat.
David Pimentel from College of Agriculture and Life Sciences of Cornell University says that grain used in feeding US livestock can feed around 800M people if directly fed to them. Pimentel calculates that the raising of animals for some protein requires over 8 times fossil fuel which is equivalent in the plant protein.
The government of US even recognizes that vegetarian diet tends to be healthful, though, it recommends eating diet that’s plant-based with only some little meat.
The fans of sausage that’s soy based think that they would be too happy to have some artificial bacon with good taste, instead of beef grown artificially.