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Jun 18, 2014 02:46 PM

Biofabricating meat in labs. What do you think?

Has anybody seen this article yet? Interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. It's both scary and cool. What's your opinion?

Here's the text. There's also a video on the time warner link above.

Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn-based startup that is growing fish, poultry, meat and leather in its labs from muscle cells, has raised $10 million, The Wall Street Journal’s Lora Kolodny reports.

The lead investor is Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures, which also invested in egg substitute startup Hampton Creek.

The CEO and co-founder of Modern Meadow, Andras Forgacs, previously co-founded publicly-traded Organovo, a company that engineers tissue via 3D printing. There are currently ten employees at Modern Meadow.

Forgac's latest company is able to grow food and leather in its lab using biofabrication, which takes small biopsies from animals leaving them unharmed. The leather Modern Meadow produces doesn’t have any of the normal imperfections found on animal skin, such as bites or scars, which is attractive to fashion designers. It takes 1–2 months to create one square foot of leather in Modern Meadow’s lab.

Both leather and meat production are huge problems for the startup to tackle. Modern Meadow says nearly 300 million tons of meat are eaten every year and by 2050, that will increase to 500 million. Additionally, animal farms contribute to climate change via greenhouse gas emission.

Modern Meadow says its solution will mean 99% less land required for the animals, 96% less water used to create the meat, 96% fewer greenhouse gases emitted, 45% less energy needed to produce the meat, and, of course, it will keep animals from being hurt or killed.

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  1. To quote Chris Rock: "Just because you can do it doesn't make it a good idea." In any case, it's a technology that has a long way to go:

      1. re: jpc8015

        Why pass?
        I'm honestly not sure if I honestly don't see a problem with this, or simply playing devil's advocate, but presuming that it's safe for consumption (and don't get me started on the whole organic and GMO hoopla), what's the problem with this?

        1. re: Midknight

          Growing GMO corn is one thing. I am good with that. It at least still comes out of the ground and is grown from corn seed.

          Spontaneous generation of animal flesh just doesn't seem right.

      2. I have no problem with this. If it's tasty I'll eat it, if not I'll say fuck it.

        1. Watch the film Antiviral, it takes this idea to our societies logical conclusion, where people can eat meat "made" grown from the cells of celebrities, even be given the same diseases as celebrities. I'll be long dead before we get there (I sincerely hope).