Why do so many people get grossed out by the idea of vat-grown meat? A poll.

Why limit it to beef?

I have a Modest Proposal…

My brother and I had this very argument about a year ago. I fell squarely on the “vat grown meat is cool! I want a vat-grown mammoth steak!”, and he coined my favorite term for vat grown meat…


You know, posts like this one, do not do a whole lot to convince me that I should spend any of my valuable time and energy trying to figure out why vat-grown meat is icky or explain that reaction to someone else.

I’m not an idiot. I don’t ignore facts. I am partial to, and defensive of, religion–with emphasis on Christianity. I have previously argued against stem cells, although probably not genetically modified foods–where the issues strike me as murkier.

Vat grown meat may one day be a choice in the supermarket, or it may not, but making fun of those who oppose it is not a good way to get them to re-evaluate their positions and consider trying it.

Put me down in the “Bring on the giant blobs of living non-sentient tissue” side.

I imagine that a meat growing plant might look and perhaps smell disgusting, but as has been pointed out, slaughterhouses aren’t exactly any place you’d want to go for a relaxing picnic in those regards.

If ther is in fact a noticeable difference in taste (on account of the differences in structure mentioned above), that would be a valid reason for prefering actual dead animals to giant blobs of living non-sentient tissue; me, I’m a very unpicky eater and would likely hardly notice. Especially if we’re talking about Big Macs or Whoppers anyway. And lokij makes some interesting points about possible applications beyond the obvious “ground beef by the boxcar-load for fast-food restaurants”.

I don’t know if anyone would actually raise religious “tampering in God’s domain” style objections or not. I don’t really see how “farming” giant vats of tissue is “playing God” but raising living, breathing, feeling animals up from birth, then cutting their throats or blasting metal bolts into their brains, cutting up their bodies, and eating the body parts is NOT “playing God”–then again, I’m not religious, never have been, and often don’t entirely get religion-based arguments for or against things.

If it’s just a question of “I ain’t eating that stuff–it’s unnatural!”, hey, that’s your right. If it comes down to legislation trying to actually outlaw this proposed technology, then I would expect the pro-ban side to come up with some better argument than “Ewww! Gross!” or “We are not mean to tamper in God’s domain”.

I wonder what Hindus would think of this?

I’m a vegetarian who is dreaming of the day vat-meat hits the store shelves. It’'ll be pretty healthy I bet.

It would be free from foot and mouth disease, as there are no feet and no mouths. :slight_smile:

Maybe if a cow head were glued to the side of the vat … you know, to give it a more natural look. You could say, “that’s not a pulsing blob of muscle tissue, it’s a vat-cow!”

Heh, just had one of my goofy ideas… a sci-fi story where everyone eats Vat-Meat because natural meat is considered too dangerous due to foot-and-mouth disease.

Then, the terrible discovery by our hero at the end of the story…


Read my sig. Second link.

Again, I’m beginning to think I seriously misjudged the neophilia* of the SDMB on this issue.

*(Accepting of, and usually excited by, new ideas.)

I’d definitely give it a try.

There’s no way it can possibly taste as good when there’s no murder involved in making it.

Really, though, it comes down to the taste/texture. If it’s effectively the same as a steak (or a burger, or whatever), I certainly don’t care how it got there. If it’s worse than the real thing in any aspect, I wouldn’t be especially eager to give up any degree of quality just so I’m not eating dead animals anymore.

All of the cultures that I have seen in every thing from petri dishes to bio reactors didn’t look like it was fit for consumption by anything. OTHO If you don’t know what it is and you aren’t told what it is or contains when its served, you will be not the wiser.
When you find out later you may turn inside out. :rolleyes:

I propose we call it Beef Blend, or perhaps Meat Lite. It would be ideal for something like the beef bits in Chef Boyardee canned ravioli. Or hotdogs. I think the key to marketing it would be to blend it with real beef, at least at first. You could sell it pure to some vegetarians, the same people who buy textured vegetable protein now.

I think it’s peachy idea. Assuming that it tastes right. And especially if it will be cheaper.

I’m also a proponent of stem cell research and genetically modified food. Also irradiating food to kill the shit that might kill us.

It’ll be an uphill battle, though. The same people who protest genetically modified food and irradiated food will be vocal in their opposition. And there will be are opponents on both sides of the political spectrum. On the right wing there will be those who oppose any modification to “what God Made.” And on the left, there’ll be crunchy-granola types who hate anything that isn’t “natural.”

Which brings up the point that vegetarian product produces have gone to a lot of trouble to try to simulate the texture of some meats. Perhaps they could mix it with things like tvp to get a better texture.

I used to say I wanted KFT (Kentucky Fried Tofu), now I want KFV!

It’s not like we’ve never been exposed to vat-grown foods. For example,

Whiskey and all spirits
Most candies and sweet treats
Many sausages are cured using chemicals and bacteria you’d rather not think about.
Jello comes from some very disturbing vats.
Bread is grown with microorganisms.
Turkey bacon
Hydroponic tomatoes
Deviled ham

I do not fear vat-grown meat, although I fear that it will have a disappointing taste.

I really, really want to eat vat grown meat. I think that the need for food and human dependence on meat is the root cause of a number of serious social problems and would love to see this as a cheap/tasty/viable option. Does anyone know of any reason that this is a “bad” idea that doesn’t play to ethics, “gross!” factor, etc.?

My most recent understanding is that you are not allowed to eat it at this point. My attempt to locate photos came up short, is it terrible to look at, as one poster above insinuated (in-sinew-ated, perhaps)?

As a person who seriously hates food and the biological nature of reality, I eagerly await this product.

Well there’s vat grown, vat grown, and vat grown. I’ve never seen a hydroponically grown turkey or pig and processing parts of them in a vat is different from growing those parts in a vat.

Anyway, I use a lot of ground beef in my cooking. Morningstar Farms makes a pretty good vegetarian replacement for ground beef but the last time I checked it’s more expensive than real ground beef, so I’m not switching.

Plants are supposed to be cheaper than animals. Why are relatively convincing plant-based vegetarian equivalents still more expensive?

Will vat-grown ground beef really be cheaper than farm-raised ground beef, once it’s all said and done? Will it be a cheaper alternative for people on budgets, or will it be a high-priced gourmet item for the wealthy SUV-driving tree-huggers who shop at Trader Joe’s*?

*That’ll probably get me slammed.

You’re right. My apologies. This is a subject that I feel quite strongly about, and I got a little carried away with insulting those who don’t agree with me.

The taste of beef goes beyond the different types of tissue it is made up of. Part of the reason why certain pieces of beef taste differently is the food that the cows fed on while they were still alive. There is a difference in taste between the meat garnered from grass fed cattle, wheat fed cattle, and processed food fed cattle. Often times this taste will reflect regions where the cattle were raised. I would also be curious in knowing how they intend to adapt and duplicate the different levels of toughness that are apparent in a variety of meat. Perhaps a veal-like consistency would become the status quo. I’d be interested in knowing how they would adjust the vat-grown meat to meet these and other variables.

If were just talking fast food meats though, all of that becomes far less important.

Apology accepted–given that I’m not even sure that I have particularly strong feelings on the subject of vat-grown meat, it probably rubbed me more the wrong way than it should have. Other people in this thread have been smug about their willingness to embrace new things, like stem cell research and vat-grown meat, but your post crossed an invisible line.

Aside to MEBuckner, you have a valid point, but it’s mostly unrelated to mine. I’m just pointing out that for the purpose of an abstract discussion, mocking the people who hold the alternate viewpoint is not a good way to encourage them to want to discuss the issue with you. Yes, it would be nice if anyone proposing legislation to prevent vat-grown meat, or holding demonstrations against it, had a little more to their argument than “that’s gross.” But that’s not what this thread is about. This thread asks why people think it is gross, and featherlou’s post struck a nerve.