PETA Offers $1Million for First Manmade Chicken
The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering a prize for the first scientist to create chicken meat for human consumption in a laboratory. Recently I have been hearing about scientists trying to grow human organs in a laboratory using stem cells, but it never occurred to me that this or similar technology could be geared toward producing food. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
We already produce many things we put in or on our bodies in laboratories. Everything from perfumes to "artificial" or "natural" strawberry flavour (which, by the way, takes about 350 different chemical reactions to produce) are made in labs, most of them in New Jersey, US. I usually stop to appreciate the irony of a product using the term "natural flavour" to describe a flavour made just about as artificially as an "artificial flavour". Which also begs the question, would the public be properly informed at the grocery store whether they'll be buying this manufactured meat or the soon to be good old fashioned kind?
Something else to consider would be the environmental impact of our lust for meat. Everything from cow farts to hog cesspools, there is a real need to address these issues for the sake of the environment and public health. It's still too early to say if manufacturing meat in labs will do anything to reduce carbon emissions, however. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the obvious killing of animals.
Like many things the future has in store, it will happen, regardless of what the implications may be.
PETA is offering a $1 million prize to the contest participant able to make the first in vitro chicken meat and sell it to the public by June 30, 2012. The contestant must do both of the following:
• Produce an in vitro chicken-meat product that has a taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh to non-meat-eaters and meat-eaters alike.
• Manufacture the approved product in large enough quantities to be sold commercially, and successfully sell it at a competitive price in at least 10 states.