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Jul 1, 2010 11:15 AM

Would you eat "synthetic meat"?

Y'know, the kind that is born, grown and all together created in a test tube?

I probably would, as long as it was cost-competitive and taste-competitive with "real" meat.

Certainly something to chew on ...

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    1. re: Chemicalkinetics


      Also, the synthetic meat they discuss is tissue-cultured meat. Ummm... tissue cultured cells require serum from, um, animals. Usually fetal animals. Wouldn't it be simpler to just eat the animals, rather than using serum from animals to grow synthetic animal tissue?

      1. re: Indirect Heat

        To be fair, there are a number of serum free alternatives for tissue culture medium these days. But the general principle holds true. The cost and energy inputs required to create the growth media components is far too excessive for the foreseeable future.

        1. re: kmcarr

          Indirect Hear and Kmcarr.

          It is actually ridiculous huge for energy nad resource input. Margarent Mellon opposite it for that reason:

          "So, to recap the opinions on the state of shmeat: It's animal-friendly but bad for the environment; we have the how-to, but not the how-come; unleashing unknown technologies is fodder for nightmares."

          All that aside, do we really need to drive down the cost of meat anyway? Are we really not eating meat enough, so we are thinking about alternative way for growing expensive and resource demanding meat.

    2. <cost-competitive and taste-competitive, preventing an enormous amount of suffering> given those parameters, I absolutely would.

      1. The first thing that came to mind when I read your post was "Thalidomide". There is so much chemical stuff out there that has probably not yet revealed its potential to cause much harm.

        Eat synthetic meat ? Hell, I won't even eat margarine or red velvet cake !

        8 Replies
        1. re: souschef

          Thalidomide is actually approved by the FDA for some very specific and controlled purposes, i.e., leprosy.

          I didn't realize that margarine was "synthetic." I don't eat it but I didn't know that.

          1. re: c oliver

            Synthetic: man-made; not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially. Margarine qualifies.

            From what I've heard the laws regarding the word "imitation" as it refers to foods have been loosened. It used to be that margarine, "Bac-os," and cheese whiz were all imitation, in that they are not butter, bacon or cheddar cheese. These days I can't imagine how many products would be labeled imitation.

            1. re: WhatThePho

              Would that make pie, for instance, a synthetic product as it doesn't appear in nature in its completed state? Isn't margarine a combination of "real" food products? Nasty but real? BTW I don't like pie :)

              1. re: c oliver

                Maybe...Butter is minimally processed. It is just separated from the non-fat part of milk; margarine is highly processed. If it were liquid oil, it wouldn't taste like butter. It's hydrogenated, colored and flavored to mimic butter. Which, in my mind, is what makes it synthetic.

                I don't like pie either.

                1. re: WhatThePho

                  WTH? Where are all of you pie haters coming from? I just made a Lemon Cream Pie to die for.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Lemon cream pie made by you? I could force myself :) But basically pie AND cake are the last desserts I'd ever eat. 'Course I rarely eat dessert except to be polite to a host.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I'm not a huge dessert eater myself, but once in a while, I splurge. I will NEVER pass up a slice of a Southern Coconut Cake.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        lol In adulthood I've begun to come around.. I'm not a huge fan of sweets in the first place, and the texture and ... well, i know this is blasphemy, but dry blandness of pie crust, just never appealed to me. I find that if I know who made it, then it magically tastes a whole lot better. :)

        2. No. Not a chance in flamin' hell.

          1. No way. Canola oil's enough to gross me out.

            6 Replies
            1. re: MandalayVA

              sorry ,are you saying that canola is synthetic?

              1. re: howlin

                "canola" is an acronym for Canadian Oilseed,'s a genetically modified hybrid of the rapeseed plant. (rapeseed oil is bitter, highly acidic, and contains potentially dangerous levels of goitrogenic compounds that can suppress thyroid function...not exactly ideal for consumption.)

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Sincerely asking: are goitrogenic compounds synthetic?

                  1. re: c oliver

                    no, sorry i got all science-y on you :) the term goitrogenic is related to goiter - it refers to compounds (natural AND synthetic) that suppress thyroid function, potentially causing goiter.

                    foods in the brassica/cabbage family are actually relatively high in goitrogens, but cooking moderates the impact, and you'd have to consume tons of the vegetables to suppress function in a healthy individual. but for someone like me with compromised thyroid function it's wise to watch your brassica intake. but i digress. what i was saying in my earlier post is that oil derived from the true rapeseed plant (not the hybridized strain for canola oil) has a very high goitrogen content.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      o_O I did NOT know that. I thought "canola oil" was just their way of finding a more attractive name for the rapeseed.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    While there are GM versions of canola out there, by definition, canola doesn't have to be genetically modified - indeed, the varieties available up until the early-90s were exclusively non-GM. It's just a hybrid of two species of Brassica. Many plants will naturally hybridize with other species.

                    The hybrid, canola, has lower eruic acid content, making it more palatable than rapesseed.