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The latter are also used as supports for culturing bioengineered meat as the embryonic stem cells grow into a glob which is later placed in a sealed biochemical reactor, where the conditions mimic the inside of an animal's body and the "meat" grows.
The quote trotted out most often in support of all this stem cell meat is one attributed to Sir Winston Churchill in 1932: "Fifty years hence, we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium." It's only Churchill's timing that's off.
"There is a point that the Earth is not big enough to have all the animals and the fields to feed all the animals," University of Utrecht molecular biologist and shmeat grower, Bernard Roelen, was quoted as saying in a 2009 issue of Scientific American.
"You have to think ahead."
The Dutch government is on board, having already committed more than two million euros for in vitro meat research.
Boosters say that shmeat is just the ticket for a planet that's soon going to have to support 40 per cent more people and do so sustainably.
According to Scientific American , about 12,000 gallons (45,500 litres) of water are needed to produce every pound of beef, as opposed to only 60 gallons or 225 litres for a pound of potatoes. Beef needs 27 times more energy to produce than plant protein; the methane "burps" of 56 billion farm animals worldwide (as estimated by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization) are a big contributor to climate change, plus their nutrient-rich manure pollutes waterways.
Because it's raised under sterile conditions, shmeat could also reduce food-borne illnesses such as E.coli and salmonella.
Enough good reasons to make animal rights activists, some vegetarians and possibly even regular folks happy — and one day see shmeat served alongside that poutine.
The outer limits
Year after year, Rimrock Café pops up as the No. 1 favourite in just about every major "Best Of" restaurant category and this year — you guessed it — is no exception. Best Dessert, Best When Someone Else Pays, Best Atmosphere, Best Service and, the biggie of biggies — Best Restaurant Overall.
The food, the service, the vibe ("elegantly rustic"): it all adds up to acclamation. As does — albeit in a much different way — the food, the service, the vibe at what may well be Rimrock's equivalent to antimatter: the Heart Attack Grill.
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