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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Stem-cell burgers: Let's hear it for cultured beef

Hereford Bull (USDA Photo)
This coming Monday, the world will get a glimpse into the kinder gentler world of cultured beef.

We're not talking about your mother's abbatoir, or even your grandmother's barnyard chopping block.  We are instead referring to a seemingly-viable alternative to torturing animals for our own use.

Kate Hellend, Health and Science Correspondent for London Reuters, recently reported that a "corner of west London will see culinary and scientific history made on Monday when scientists cook and serve up the world's first lab-grown beef burger."

This "in-vitro burger," which is "cultured from cattle [muscle] stem cells," will be "fried in a pan and tasted by two volunteers."  Not to worry, the cultured beef will first be combined with other ingredients (such as beet juice, saffron, egg powder, breadcrumbs and salt) in order to make it more burger-like.

If all goes well (politically as well as scientifically), in-vitro burgers could soon begin to replace their less cultured "cousins."  What this would mean is that the approximately "18 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions" that the meat industry has been polluting the planet with will considerably lessen.

In-vitro meat culturing would also consume "35 percent to 60 percent less energy… and use about 98 percent less land than conventionally produced animal meat."

Far less quantifiable is the untold amount of suffering that our fellow sentient beings would then be spared…        


Copyright August 3, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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