By now, most of the civilized world has heard of the “Impossible” Burger. It’s plant-based, and looks and tastes like meat. Fine. Not that big of sci-fi stretch. The biggest techno-trick was adding the heme iron to make the burgers bleed like meat. A little gruesome, but necessary to sell the trick I guess.
All the big names are getting into the plant-based meat alternative game. McDonalds, KFC, even Disney are starting to offer some version of the Impossible Burger, but these are just glorified veggie burgers. There’s no interesting tech here.
The real magic is in something called lab-grown meat. Not a very catchy or consumer-friendly name, I know, but lab-grown meat is just that – meat grown in a lab (or other sterile environment). No animal. No birth. No slaughter. Just a few muscle fibers in a petri dish that eventually becomes a full-grown patty. I have this picture in my head of just plopping a scientifically perfect hamburger shape right out of the petri dish directly onto the grill. Less work for me!
We’re still a few years away from running down to the grocery store to pick some up for dinner. Plus, one hamburger would run you about $600 right now, but, like most promising technology, that will change fast. The biggest obstacle is going to be stupid consumers who object to the idea of it. I envision a few central objections.
The “I can’t eat that, it’s…weird!” crowd
Okay, first of all just shut up. Everything you ever ate was weird the first time you ate it until it became normal for you. If balut (go on, Google it and come back) can be considered a delicacy, you can get over eating some regular-ass meat that was grown from the stem cells of other regular-ass meat.
The macho “I ain’t eatin’ no not dead animal meat! I ain’t no veggie-wuss-itarian!” crowd
Double shut up you insecure knuckle-dragging, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing idiot. It is still meat. Just because it didn’t suffer and die doesn’t make it an existential threat to your fragile masculinity.
The “Is it safe?” crowd
Listen here Larry, I have video of you jumping through a folding table that was on fire in your backyard from your roof while drunk. You don’t care about safety – but yes, it will be safe as long as Trump doesn’t also dismantle the FDA so you can make America great again by removing yourself from our gene pool.
Speaking of Trump, I am for lab-grown meat because while the world is ending and there are no species of animals left to hunt, I want to be able to grow my own filet mignon from my survival bunker.
Did you see the movie The Road, Larry? I’ll ruin it for you right now: the world dies, there is no food, and people have to eat each other. If they had lab-grown meat, that movie wouldn’t have a scene where they slowly amputate other humans to keep their meat alive longer. That would be you Larry. A big, dumb, meaty amputee in my cannibal neighbor’s basement prison slowly being eaten alive.
Crazy question while we’re on the subject: Would you eat lab-grown human meat? Purely hypothetical.
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Dave Skorepa is Chief Creative Officer at Aztek Web in Cleveland, Ohio.