Would You Eat Meat Made in a Laboratory?

This or This

Meat grown in a laboratory is called IVM, or in vitro meat.  It is an edible meat product that has never been a part of an whole animal.  It is cultured in a lab out of muscle cells.  They take these cells and bathe them in a growth medium that provides the nutrients and hormones that help the cells to grow into a larger piece of meat that is safe for human consumption.

Proponents of this “meat” are even saying that this meat would be much healthier for people, as it would be sterile, with no possibility of disease, and that it could also be engineered to have less fat, and health damaging properties than regular meat from animals.  They also are adamant that their is no genetic modification involved; it is natural muscle, grown from normal animal cells.  In fact the meat has to be stretched and “exercised” while it is growing in order for it to mature properly. 

The problem with this method of meat production are two fold:

  1. The financial expenditure to set up facilities of this type of meat production are immense, not to mention the fact that the “test tube meat” has got to be started out with real animal muscle cells, much like yogurt cultures.  You have to have the real thing in the beginning to start the process.  Where would this come from?
  2. The biggest problem is the feelings of the public about meat grown in a lab.  Even though the physical composition of the meat is the same as what it walking around on hooves, people seem to have a natural aversion to food “grown from nothing” in a test tube.  Too many evil scientist movies have skewed the perception of anything made in a laboratory.  Not to mention most of the unhealthy changes that have been made to our food (GMOs) have been done in a laboratory.  People do not trust them.  Only 6 percent of people surveyed said they would eat laboratory grown meat.  In fact the only scientific experimentation that was hated and feared more than IVM was human cloning.  Those are pretty strong feelings!

The problem I have with IVM are as follows:

  • What exactly is in this “growth medium?”  Is it artificial?  Chemical?
  • The hormones that are involved; where do they come from?  Are they artificial or natural? 
  • What about the animals that they use to start the process?  Will they be treated humanely? Will they have to be killed?
  • Have any tests been done on people that have eaten it and what were the results?

I am very much a proponent of returning to a more natural way of living.  We are well on our way to having more people on our planet than it can sustain.  However, I don’t think that growing meat in a laboratory is the answer to the problem.  Eating less meat and more grains and vegetables, everyone growing some of their own food and reducing the population of the world would be much better and more natural solutions, not to mention more fiscally responsible.

What do you think about IVM?   


For more info, check out this video on lab grown meat:



Two of my favorite books on this subject that you might be interested in reading:

Ethics     Foodopoly

Image Credits:  http://tinyurl.com/obp4ykd,

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