Unborn cloned meat products

Independent food tips by Donald K. Burleson

December 2009

Eating unborn meats: The revolution in flesh cloning

We all know how stem cell research has allowed scientists to replicate human organs, like a real human ear, cloned from a single cell a host rat at MIT.  Scientists are now working to clone many human organs, using rats as hosts, and the formal name for this exciting new technology is biomaterial-based tissue engineering (BTE):

Biomaterial tissue engineering is used to make cloned body parts

 Aside from helping those who need transplants, BTE has huge possibilities for feeding a hungry world, making cloned meat foods in a laboratory.  Imagine the possibilities for fine dining, with almost unimaginable ways to feed hippies, Vegans, Vegetarians and meat-hungry Americans.

Cloned meat in a Petri dish

Just last month scientists announced the successful laboratory creation of real muscle tissue, and created real pork in a Petri dish. 

This is not artificial pork, its real pork, made without killing any animals.  Imagine the possibilities for new food products!

But how will the American public react to a cloned steak?  Consumers have no trouble eating baby animals and even unborn fetal foods like eggs, but what about a meat food that never lived?

Let's take a closer look at this new beakthrough.

Serving extinct meat products

Scientists have saved viable muscle tissue samples from wooly mammoths and Dodo birds, and it's not a stretch of see new meat products made from extinct animals being served in a restaurant near you by 2015.  I'll bet a Woolly Mammoth steak will be mighty tasty.

This could be the start of a multi-billion dollar industry as hippies and vegetarians start drooling at the prospect of guilt-free bacon and sausage.  But why is guilt-free meat important? 

Is it OK because the meat was never born, or because the meat was never alive?

If cloned meat is OK for hippie vegans, then what about unborn meats?  What is the exact nature of the objections to eating animals?  Let's take a closer look.

Eating embryonic meats - no fetus can beat us

Any honest carnivore will tell you that they love baby animals, and society has no objections to serving-up newborn critters.  I enjoy calves liver and onions, lamb and milk-fed veal.  Some  people love newborn octopus, quite tasty:

                 Baby Octopus                                                        Newborn Veal                                    Baby Lamb Chops

Janet and I love milk-fed veal, but we stopped eating it to protest the cruel torture that the baby calves must endure.  But what about unborn foods?  Anybody who has ever eaten a hard-boiled egg has eaten a zygote, and there are many cultures that enjoy eating the unborn  meats.  In the world of animals, almost all new moms chow-down on their placentas, a mechanism to prevent predators from smelling the fresh blood, it's called placentophagy, and it's all natural, just like these human examples of fetus feasting.

  • Mexico -  After having a baby, some Mexicans have a party where they serve-up a steaming stew made with Mom's afterbirth.  Some foreigners will eat anything and here is a recipe for human placenta sausage.

  • Philippines - Filipino folks love Balut, the delicious duck embryo's, served almost ready to hatch.

No fetus can beat us - Some cultures say that unborn foods are delicious

And there are hoaxes too, like this one where some sicko took a plastic baby doll and started an internet hoax that it was fashionable in China for people to eat human aborted fetuses!

This hoax illustrates squeamish Americans are about "unnatural" meats, so the jury is still out whether or not Americans will embrace this new idea of bioengineered bacon.

Will bioengineered meat catch on?

Assuming the the bioengineers will be able to create real meat with the same flavor and texture of real meat, there will still be the issue of "marbling", the intermixing of muscle cells with fat cells, the hallmark of a fine steak.

I don't expect that the bioengineered cloned meat products will really come out by 2015 as predicted, but I do predict that if they are ever successful in making it more economically than raising live animals, it will be the start of a multibillion dollar a year market.