Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Meat Without Murder

I got sick to my stomach just reading this....there is no way I would go for it!************************************************************
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Would you eat a hamburger if it were made without killing a cow? Can you imagine a world where cruelty-free applies not just to shoes and shampoos but also to sausages and chicken nuggets?

Jason Matheny can. He's not only a vegetarian, he's a doctoral student and scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park, and he's committed to changing the way meat gets to the dinner table. Last July, he and an international team of researchers announced a new method for "making" meat. Instead of slaughtering farm animals, they're growing meat in the laboratory. "In theory, technology could produce the world's entire supply of meat without ever killing a single animal," says Matheny.

The technique involves a relatively painless process of removing muscle cells from a live animal through a thin needle, then letting the cells grow and divide in a sort of giant petri dish—a vat kept at the same temperature as the animal's body and filled with glucose, amino acids and minerals. This nutritional soup is then poured onto large plastic sheets that are continually stretched to "exercise" the cells and keep them growing. After a few weeks, a millimeter-thick sheet of meat can be peeled off, rolled up and minced into hamburger.

Vat-grown meat would also be safer and more healthful than today's meat, Matheny says. "There are so many health problems associated with farmed meat. In addition to worrying about antibiotics, steroids and contamination, meat has a very high saturated fat content. But with tissue culture, we can reduce that or even replace it with a healthier fat," he says. And people wouldn't have to worry about mad cow disease or avian flu.

If there is demand, it can be available and on the market in the next five to 10 years," says Mironov. In fact, he sees a future where people will have countertop devices similar to breadmakers that could produce meat overnight. "It's not a question of time, it's a question of money. "Just like any new technology, it will be very, very expensive to produce at first," says Mironov, "at least $5,000 per pound. But eventually, the price will go down dramatically—1,000 times.

—the bottom line will be whether people actually want to buy meat that's grown in a vat. I don't know if they will."

Full article can be found at http://www.vegetariantimes.com/document/515
(I had to shorten it so no one would complain.)

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