SuperMeat - Crowdfunding Pohl/Kornbluth's Chicken Little
In their wonderful 1952 novel The Space Merchants, Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth described a remarkable meat that you could grow in unlimited quantities:
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.
(Read more about Pohl's Chicken Little)
In the 1950's, you waited for big corporations to create meat in a vat. But not today! No, we don't.
Israeli startup SuperMeat is ready for you to believe in them.
(Crowdfunding science fiction - SuperMeat)
SuperMeat’s co-founder and co-CEO, Koby Barak, himself a longtime vegan and animal rights activist, said his company’s cultured meat will be both kosher and vegan-friendly, and he has the supporters to prove it.
“I have spoken to about 10 rabbis and I don’t see any problem. It will be kosher,” Barak told JTA. “The vast majority of the vegan-vegetarian movement is very supportive, and we thank them for really supporting us.”
Among rabbis and vegan activists, though, the debate over exactly what to make of SuperMeat, and cultured meat in general, is far from resolved.
SuperMeat is not the first cultured meat company, but it is the first to focus on chicken.
Production is to work like this: Cells will be harmlessly taken from a chicken and put into a special machine that simulates the bird’s biology, allowing them to self-assemble into meat.
Barak said the process could revolutionize how the world eats, striking a major blow against environmental degradation, animal suffering and global health pandemics. Other meats could be made using more or less the same process, he said.
So far, they've raised $60,000, with two months to go.
I should mention that the earliest mention of the idea of growing meat in test tubes is from Unto Us A Child Is Born, a 1933 short story by David H. Keller. See the entry for synthetic food.