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Comments on Cultured Meat Straight From The Vat
Science fiction fans - start your grills! Two new techniques of tissue engineering may lead to affordable production of lab-grown, cultured meat for human consumption. (Read the complete story)

"Also reminds me of the "meatbeast" of George R.R. Martin's "Tuf Voyaging stories. "
(Joseph 7/13/2005 7:57:38 AM)
"You also need to check Lois McMaster Bujold's Vor series...vat grown meat is well used in that one."
(Doc Krin ( 7/19/2005 8:07:48 PM)
"One recent take on this idea is P Farley's Thanksgiving Special. check out this graphic novel online at"
(Jin Kee 7/20/2005 7:28:50 PM)
"Actually, Heinlein beat them all to the punch. In "Methuselah's Children", the members of the Howard Families use vat-grown chicken to feed themselves. The chicken was supposed to have been a chicken heart, kept alive (at that point) for over a hundred years; sliced, split, and grown again and again."
(Fred Kiesche 7/21/2005 12:55:15 PM)
"Fred - you're right about the meat part, but I don't think you're right about them eating it as food - they kept it for use in research:
Lazarus found her servicing the deathless tissue of chicken heart known to the laboratory crew as "Mrs. 'Awkins." Mrs. 'Awkins was older than any member of the Families save possibly Lazarus himself; she was a growing piece of the original tissue obtained by the Families from the Rockefeller Institute in the twentieth century, and the tissues had been alive since early in the twentieth century even then. Dr. Hardy and his predecessors had kept their bit of it alive for more than two centuries now, using the Carrel-Lindbergh-O'Shaug techniques and still Mrs. 'Awkins flourished.
Gordon Hardy had insisted on taking the tissue and the apparatus which cherished it with him to the reservation when he was arrested; he had been equally stubborn about taking the living tissue along during the escape in the Chili. Now Mrs. 'Awkins still lived and grew in the New Frontiers, fifty or sixty pounds of her-blind, deaf, and brainless, but still alive.
(Bill Christensen 7/21/2005 6:59:30 PM)
"I read a great story by A.C, Clarke called, "The Food of the Gods" (not to be confused with the HF Wells story by the same name. It was funny and I won't give away the punch line here, but its worth finding if you want a chuckle."
(Elizabeth Hensley 8/9/2005 2:48:02 PM)
"Very interesting. What about the flavor of the natural meat?"
(Carlo deCastro 8/17/2005 8:03:26 PM)
"If you really want meaty texture and taste, give meat-growing robots a whirl."
(Meat-Growing Robot 10/3/2005 6:03:12 PM)
"re Mrs 'Awkins, was there a grain of truth in thet? He states that the tissues had been alive since early in the twentieth century - I've always wondered if he was refering to a peice of real research, and if so, what happened to it? Is it possible that Mrs 'Awkins actually exists?"
(Daz 11/25/2005 4:29:37 AM)
"OK, I answered my own question: 'A famous French physiologist, Alexis Carrell, kept a chicken heart alive for about twenty-eight years. He incubated a chicken egg. The heart of the developing young chick was taken out and cut in pieces. These pieces, consisting of many cells, were transferred into a saline solution which contained minerals in the same proportion as chicken blood. He changed this solution everyday, and he kept the chick's heart alive for about twenty-eight years. When he stopped changing this solution, the heart cells died. The secret of the chick's heart surviving for twenty-eight years lies in the fact that he kept the extracellular fluids constant and also that he disposed of the cellular waste products every day by changing the fluid in which the chick's heart was kept.'"
(Daz 11/25/2005 4:47:37 AM)
"I've been expecting this sooner or later: growing perfect cuts of meat in a production facility without all the hassle of live animals. Another related science-fiction concept is the "butcher plant"--hard to say which would win in the long run."
(Jupiter Cronus 2/6/2006 10:01:04 PM)
"I've got that one, too; see Clifford Simak's butcher plant from his outstanding 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing."
(Bill Christensen 2/7/2006 5:17:30 AM)
"Anybody got a source earlier than 1952? "The Space Merchants", by Frederick Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth, described "Chicken Little, a huge mass of cultured chicken breast, kept alive by algae skimmed by nearly-slave labor from multistory towers of ponds surrounded by mirrors to focus the sunlight onto the ponds. Read an excerpt at It starts: Skum-skimming wasn't hard to learn. You got up at dawn. You gulped a breakfast sliced not long ago from Chicken Little and washed it down with Coffiest. You put on your coveralls and took the cargo net up to your tier. In blazing noon from sunrise to sunset you walked your acres of shallow tanks crusted with algae. If you walked slowly, every thirty seconds or so you spotted a patch at maturity, bursting with yummy carbohydrates. You skimmed the patch with your skimmer and slung it down the well, where it would be baled, or processed into glucose to feed Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America. ...
(Great find! I've added it to the database. As far as I know, this is the first reference to the idea of 'cultivating meat' in a vat in sf.
(asmohr[AT] 2/20/2006 2:06:41 PM)
"But it's just not natural. How can this be healthy, you're stuffing yourself with processed meat, fake food. I don't know.. it just doesn't sound right. Personally I wouldn't eat it. I do think it's interesting nonetheless."
(steph 4/18/2006 5:43:21 AM)
"In Sam Delaney's "Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand", Marq Dyeth's homeworld of Velm houses two dominant species, human and evelm. Though they live in peaceful contact in some parts of the world, a history of war has given them a taste for each others' flesh. In the "civil" regions, this taste is satisfied with cloned flesh, and both human and evelm partake of each. During the climax of the novel, Marq's lover Korga (a sudden celebrity on Velm) is accosted by a meat vendor, who steals a tissue sample for cloning, claiming this will keep his memory (and flavor) alive on Velm forever."
(umuhk 5/4/2006 12:46:42 PM)
"Cultivated meat is interesting too from a religious point of view: it is Kosher and Hallal as it doesn't come from an actual animal. Even cultivated pork would be Kosher: the first generation of cells has already less than the sixtieth part to make it non Kosher. It could be accepted by Bouddist too as produced without violence. A smell of redemption..."
(Yuda 10/9/2006 9:19:22 AM)
"On the one way trip to Barnard's Star in Robert L. Forwards Rocheworld series the crew ate cultured protein algae which had the texture and taste of, you guessed it, chicken!"
(Jeffery Wright 12/13/2006 6:24:06 AM)
"I found another useful link !"
(Franz 6/29/2007 8:35:57 AM)

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