Silicon Valley Frankenmeat to Save the World from Global Warming

Skirt Steak at Martiniburger in Tokyo, Japan. By Eliot Bergman (Martiniburger) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

If Silicon Valley green tech giants have their way, real meat will become an unaffordable carbon taxed luxury item eaten by the very rich. The rest of us will have to eat “meatless meat” – meat flavoured mashed vegetables and lab grown tissue cultures.

Silicon Valley and the Search for Meatless Meat


December 19, 2017

In August one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups closed a $17 million round of funding. The Series A had attracted some of the biggest names in tech. “I got closed out because of Richard Branson and Bill Gates,” bemoaned Jody Rasch, the managing trustee of an angel fund that wasn’t able to buy in. Venture capital firm DFJ—which has backed the likes of Tesla and SpaceX—led the round, with one of its then-partners calling the nascent company’s work an “enormous technological shift.”

The cutting-edge product the startup was trying to develop? Meat—the food whose more than $200 billion in U.S. sales has come to be the defining element of the Western diet. But what made this company’s work so revolutionary was not what it was trying to make so much as how it was attempting to do it. Memphis Meats, the brainchild that had the startup-investor class salivating, was aiming to remove animals from the process of meat production altogether.

It’s the type of world-saving vision that has oft captured the imagination of Silicon Valley—the kind of entrenched problem that technologists believe only technology can solve: feeding a fast-growing, protein-hungry global population in a way that doesn’t blow up the planet. Conjuring up meat without livestock—whose emissions are responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gases—is core to that effort. Just listen to how the progenitor of Googleyness itself describes the prospect of animal-free meat: “It has the capability to transform how we view our world,” Google cofounder Sergey Brin has said. “I like to look at technology opportunities where the technology seems like it’s on the cusp of viability, and if it succeeds there, it can be really transformative.”

As a sign of the market’s potential, alternative meat producers point to the explosive growth plant-based milk has made in the dairy aisle, now capturing almost 10% of U.S. retail sales by volume. “I want to be able to say you don’t have to make a choice in what you’re eating,” Memphis CEO and cofounder Uma Valeti says, “but you can make a choice on the process of how it goes to the table.”

Hoping to make that choice easier, the new agripreneurs are tackling semantics first—redefining what “meat” means. Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown says he’d like to get people to think about meat “in terms of its composition” rather than its origin. The reframing isn’t just an epistemological one, but also a scientific one, reducing meat to its molecules.

That won’t be an easy sell, and the movement has its detractors—some of whom seem miffed by the notion that anyone would try to mess with Mother Nature. “They want to make up their own dictionary version of what meat is, and these are people who do not eat meat,” says Suzanne Strassburger, whose family has been in the meat business for more than 150 years. “The real question is, are they feeding people or are they feeding egos.”

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There will be a market for this product. While I understand some people drink soy milk because of allergies or cost, many of those 10% of people who drink Soy milk do so for idealogical reasons – they also try to avoid other cattle products, buying veggie burgers and suchlike, and will likely be ready in many cases to buy lab grown cultured meat (guaranteed cruelty free).

For people who genuinely can’t afford meat at current prices, a cheap substitute which helped them and their children get the protein they require wouldn’t be a bad thing – though cutting red tape to help reduce the cost of real meat would likely achieve the same goal.

I doubt most of the remaining 90% of us would willingly embrace highly processed artificial meat tasting substitutes when we can buy the real thing.

Discouraging ordinary people from buying real meat will have to be a business goal of these high tech entrepreneurs. No doubt they would justify such efforts in terms of saving the planet from climate change.

It is easy to see how discouraging real meat consumption could happen – advertisements flooding the airwaves with messages emphasising the “cruelty” of cattle farming, adding Vegan messages to elementary school lessons, imposing carbon taxes and animal welfare regulations to make cattle farming impossibly expensive, lots of donated cash for politicians who pass laws which favour well funded artificial meat producers. Though I suspect real meat would still be available at climate conferences and UN events, at least for important attendees.

Coming soon to a supermarket shelf near you.


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Same way Euro Elite tax gasoline and drive 200 mph sports cars, while working class has scooters and bicycles.


Same as it ever was. The rich have always predisposed to tell the ‘lower classes’ to ‘do as I say not as I do.’

Bryan A

Here’s a documentary clip from inside the new protein processing facility
And don’t forget

Let them eat cake

george e. smith

Well why don’t we simply make food out of rocks and water, as Mother Gaia does, then we don’t need to murder either animals or plants. It’s all ust made out of about 92 elements anyhow so what is the hold up ??


Some day George, but the self replicating way is what we got now!


You make food from replicators out of energy I saw it on startrek 🙂

@LdB – the “explanations” of the replicators are rather amusing. They were supposed to be energy into matter, until some annoying geek told them that the amount of energy for one “Earl Grey, hot” would vaporize the Enterprise (and probably trigger any nearby star into a supernova).

Okay, they explained it that it’s actually transporter tech – it takes the atoms from a store and reconstitutes them to the pattern with the transporter. Then some other annoying geek, slightly more sophisticated, pointed out that this requires completely lossless wireless transmission of energy to avoid vaporizing the Enterprise for your tea (but you do at least just a make a big boom, not destroy entire stellar systems).

At that point, I think they just threw up their hands and walked away, muttering “Don’t they understand that this is science fiction?”


Writing Observer
Star-trek is science fiction !!! don’t be so stupid,…. next you’ll be telling us the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy isn’t a documentary.

Doug Schexnayder

the sun SHRINKS daily to heat the earth…
**(mass into energy/settled science)**…
Earth must COOL as the sun shrinks…
this will take centuries but will happen…

Earth will become cooler and cooler…
until life struggles to exist….
we will beg for warming by then!

ANYTHING to the contrary defies logic, science and reality…
the control freak political thugs are boldly LYING to you…

Smith is a tree hugging idiot.


Please tell me that frankenmeat has nothing to do with al franken.


It seems that GAIA has already taken the most energy efficient path.
So, as inhabitants of the planet we seem to know how to do it far better?
I don’t think so.

Richard Bell

They only thing that makes sense for both the transporters (which were only added when the costs of filming a starship making planetfall were estimated [originally, the USS Enterprise was going to land on the planet of the week]) and the replicator is that latinum, a mysterious and very valuable material because it cannot be replicated, is manipulated to form the matrix through which objects are materialised or dematerialised by 3D printer/scanners. For transporters, the latinum matrix focuses the ship’s tractor beams to scavenge and arrange matter to allow 3D printing at a distance. The scanning process is, of course, destructive but the resolution is good enough that not only are the fingerprints preserved, but all of the neural connections, as well. The computational power is sufficient that the individual can be completely scanned, before it can react to being disassembled. Likewise, the assembly is fast enough that no response by an incomplete subject is possible.

It is the potential abuse of the transporter that prevents the transporter from being a medical marvel. The same potential to use the transporter to remove cancer tumors allows a dictator to disperse demonstrations by transporting massive lumps of graphite into crowds, after disabling the sensors that that guide the matter scavenging.


And people are worried about GMOs?

yjiimmy ymmiijy

This from the people that tell us GMO food is bad. Uh huh, I’ll have mine rare and from a cow.


Or better yet moose, elk or Sitka black tail.

Non Nomen

Have you ever tried Haliaeetus leucocephalus? Billionnaire’s diet…


“enormous technological shift.”

How about “enormous technological sh*t.”


Me I spent years working in a lab developing a sly taste for the contents of the petri dish, subsequently I discovered Marmite and have never looked back. Gone are the days of the quick, furtive, licking up of contents of the petri dish….life will just gets tastier now that Bovril rules.

Their plan involves YOU eating it, not them!!


You got to be kidding. The elite drives really expensive electric cars with backup diesels, 4 wheel drive in a flat town with no snow, and bicycle for posing and recreation, while the working class have to mothball their Fiat as they resort to commuting by a bus – train – bus connection that takes 90 in one direction, and costs more in terms of lost time and subsidy than the ticket price.

In terms of taxing, the most hated person in Europe is the one who works at low salary and uses a car. High taxes hit people who can barely live on their own. If you are unemployed and on wellfare monies, you don’t need to own a car to prove that you are willing to take a job. Also, if you’re highly paid, it doesn’t matter so much that driving is expensive. It hits those people who barely afford a car. Poor active people with needs to travel. That’s why we say the European system is passivating. You need to have a mental state to want to work on low salary, such like the Nepalese seem to have. I don’t know what keeps them trying, probably how they were raised at home.

The rest of us will have to eat “meatless meat” – meat flavoured mashed vegetables and lab grown tissue cultures.

Oh my Worrall. We’re not forced to eat tissue. And there is nothing wrong with veggies. If I’d complain on food I’d say we have too much food policing. People are so hot they almost start shooting meat eaters and butter users. I’ve come to conclusion there should be a weekly butter-pork day in school (the European style public school that is same for everyone) to improve acceptance of pork-eaters in the society.

old white guy

we could save the world by getting rid of the elites. one poster showed the soylent green clip, maybe green dog food.


Oh no, you can’t get rid of the elite. 🙂

Only the elite can get rid of people, so it is clear they don’t do that. The Kim’s Democracy of North Korea is the worst example of trying to. They managed to get rid of all wellbeing, but getting rid of people does not rid the elite. It is the les miserables elite, but elite in every case.


US beef exports are banned in over 90 nations due to Mad Cow diseases outbreaks.
Livestock are raised in such filthy feedlots, that they need drugs and roids to survive until slaughter.

I’m pretty sure this is mostly just trade protection. There haven’t been any outbreaks of Mad cow for over 20 year that I’ve seen.


micro6500, of course it is.

But many Europeans don’t like antibiotics or steroids, even when you can show the meat is safe. OTOH, I don’t quite like the idea that the bovine body is a chemical free-range.


Raised on grassland, finished(fattened) in feedlots. Banned because of synthetic hormones. Doubt if it’s 90 countries.

” micro6500
December 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Same way Euro Elite tax gasoline and drive 200 mph sports cars, while working class has scooters and bicycles.”

Which Europe are you talking about? Any average worker can can afford a new or used car running 250 km/h if he likes. Or are you talking about India?

Just an observation of what I see ppl driving. Maybe it’s better than I thought, but your still are paying about $8/gal aren’t you? Does the avg worker have the extra money to afford gas, for that sort of car?

It wasn’t really about the car, but the fuel for the car.

The ad under my post was for OutBack Steakhouse lol

One of the ads I got was supplements for vegans … B12, if it is quality, it’s made using animals …

Pop Piasa

I got no ads at all because I use a blocker. Didn’t McDonalds try some kind of meat substitute a while back?

McWho? Ah, those with sloppy cold burgers and the bun is like a moist rag … Disgusting!



Your hamburger is limited to 30% sawdust until they come out with a GMO tree that tastes like steak.


luxury item eaten by the very rich….seems they are immune to everything including global warming
Also seems like it’s planed that way

[All brought to you who planned ahead by fossil-fueled planes, trains, and automobiles (er, trucks). .mod]


Why not? The cited venture is to culture animal cells. The cells provide the DNA & the challenge is to sustain enough cell cycles. I suppose the main issue is controlling RNA segues.

RNA factors would include assuring nucleolus (ribosome feature) assemble at late telophase to early G1 cell cyclee & it’s dissamble at mitosis. Then assuring enough creation of ribosomes to ramp up protein synthesis required for cell growth/proliferation. But if provoke too much ribosomal bio-genesis excessive protein in the cell endoplasmic reticulum can trigger it’s unfolded protein response leading to protein aggregates skewing cultured meat cell function.

We have about 4,500 proteins that associate with our nucleolus (with about 80 specific ribosomal proteins) yet 70% of these are not involved in the production of ribosomes; however they are related to cell cycles & genome stability. Of our ribosome RNA (rRNA) copies only about 1/2 are actively transcribing with about 1/2 rRNA silent; the silent rRNA stabilize the nucleolus.

Compounding the challenge culturing meat is that depending on the number of ribosomes per cell is that number affects which mRNA is getting copied. If a lot of mRNA with normally low affinity for being copied comes active that mRNA tends to code for cell cycle regulators & growth factors.

Although the option of cell growth & cycling sounds desirable that low transcription proclivity mRNA also codes onco-proteins (ex:human c-Myc). If our c-Myc level rises in a cell it provokes abnormally elevated number of cell centrosomes & unstabilizes the genome; making another problem for culturing meat.

Apparently there is a stoichiometry (relative ratios) of ribosomal proteins that impacts which different i


Hi Latitude, – Not meant to post this with you. My tablet glitched repeatedly during composition so quickly hit “post” hoping to avoid losing text.

Anyway, to finish last sentence :
“… iso-forms of ribosome proteins and alterations of post-translation modifications.”

Latitude problem, made me read it all too!
So this will be marketed to the same people that raise hell about GMO foods…….

Indeed. GMO is breeding and nothing more than fancy breeding. Less sloppy, too. [NB that the same folk who freak out over chemicals are oblivious to the fact that everything material is a mixture of chemicals. They are also oblivious to the fact that viruses perform ‘natural’ genetic modifications in addition to the ‘natural’ internal genetic modifications due to chemical reactions.]

Tom Halla

Another variation on flavored tofu.


Call me when they can grow white truffles…

we drink almond milk at home because it tastes good and because it lasts longer in the refrig without going bad than does whole milk

J Mac

Milk is manufactured in the mammary glands of mammals.
Almonds have no milk production. You are drinking an almond flavored, artificial substitute for natural mammalian milk.


The funny thing about health nuts drinking Soy and almond milk is that those foods were never designed to be liquids so emulsifiers have to be keep everything from separating. And the it has a very rough feel on the palate, so to make it feel more like milk fats they add gums. Of.course sugar and salt are added to top it off. The stuff is completely artificial. I.would think it is worse than anything GMO or BHP that I can think of.


Actually, drinking almond “milk” is drinking crushed, processed almonds, with flavoring and so forth, and over 90% water. It’s 2% almonds. Expensive water with a bit of flavor.


There’s nothing artificial about soy milk if you make it yourself. Soy milk, salt, vanilla and sugar. I’ve made lots of it and it tastes as good or better than skim milk. The only reason I don’t make it now is because I have a serious cereal addiction, that can really pack on the pounds. With some things I just have to go cold turkey.

@icisil – ANYTHING tastes better than skim milk.

Samuel C Cogar

The smells and tastes associated with ….. butter-butter (butyric acid) for spreading and flavoring, …… “whole” cow milk for drinking and cooking ……. and bacon “fat” grease for frying and seasoning …….. are eating pleasures that many have been “brainwashed” into believing are really harmful to their health and well being.

george e. smith

My local Safeway supermarket has 57 varieties of milk including Royal Stuart Tartan milk, that makes you dizzy when you shake the bottle and see the stripes wiggle, inside the bottle.

But quite often you cannot even find the real Milk millk anywhere on their shelves.

I once ordered a glass of buttermilk in a restaurant figuring it would still have all of the Milk milk ingredients in it, instead of being skimmed milk pig slop.

Instead I got a glass of rotten milk that had gone sour already.

So I may have to change my diet and drink beer instead.

But often you can’t even find any real beer either. Most of what passes for beer still looks the same color after you drink it; so that’s a tip off that it wasn’t real beer.



I would guess the restaurant added lemon juice or vinegar to milk and called it “buttermilk”. You can use lemon juice to curdle regular milk and substitute it in recipes for buttermilk, but it’s certainly not tasty for drinking.


Butter milk is the liquid that remains after all the components to make butter are taken out of the milk. It isn’t what most people think – it is not milk with lots of fat – it is milk with most fats and solids removed – much more so than skim milk. And yes it is suppose to taste sour.


We do both in my house. My wife as a moderate degree of lactose intolerance and so we use various nut “milks” plus whole milk. I mainly use the whole mile but we also make yogurt with it for our daily protein (whey) shakes.

Michael Jankowski

Almond milk is almonds blended with water and then strained. It’s not bad for you or anything, but it’s like 98% water (and sometimes with added sweetener).


And emulsifiers and gums and salt and sugar. Have you ever looked at the label? The gums are for the mouth feel the emulsification agents keep the almond part from se separating from the liquid. It is the fake concocted drink ever. May as well drink canned fruit punch.


You know it would be healthier for you just to eat a handful of almonds and drink a glass of water. Why go through all the contortions to make something which shouldn’t exist?


The problem of milk not lasting long enough is due to the way it is treated in the USA. In Europe milk is pasteurized and kept in tetra bricks. Those can be stored for weeks at room temperature without going bad. At home we buy 36 liters in 1 liter bricks every two months or so, and they never get sour.

Once you open a brick, you have to store it in the frigde, though. Also, they are 1 liter each, not half gallon, that may help too.

These bricks are subjected to ultra pasteurization, which alters the taste somewhat.

Sue Harris

Shows you what a bit of money does to the minds of the wealthy….all believe they are our betters and we could send a strong message, but we lack the fortitude what is necessary…..

Sue Harris

Shows you what a bit of money does to the minds of the wealthy….all believe they are our betters and we could send a strong message, but we lack the fortitude what is necessary…..

the sun SHRINKS daily to heat the earth…
**(mass into energy/settled science)**…
Earth must COOL as the sun shrinks…
this will take centuries but will happen…

Earth will become cooler and cooler…
until life struggles to exist….
we will beg for warming by then!

ANYTHING to the contrary defies logic, science and reality…
the control freak political thugs are boldly LYING to you…


Can you get this medium rare ?

michael hart

I’m getting serious indigestion just from the hyperbole of the reporting, but I’m more concerned about what they are smoking, not what they are eating.

Like the lunatics at the BBC, who think they’ve already won the war to decide what we put in our cars to make them go, they think they are going to tell us what we put in our mouths.

Dems B. Dcvrs

AGW Alarmists – Let them eat FrankenMeat

george e. smith

Or better yet; Soylent Green !


Russ Wood

-or maybe BE Soylent Green – they’re the right colour already!

F. Leghorn

That is spot on. If gmo corn scares the snowflakes so badly they faint in the streets this zombie meat should stop their hearts. So I guess all in all it’s mostly ok.

(Not for me or mine ever – my grill is a shrine, making proper sacrifices on a regular basis)


Who do these fools think they’re kidding?

Latinos and muslims don’t play that nonsense, real meat over a real fire and screw the CO2 count…

R.S. Brown

Soylent… red!



John V. Wright

Can I have one of those Strassburgers? That’ll do me just fine….

Derek Colman

The non dairy milk sales in the USA have probably benefited from lax consumer laws. Manufacturers are able to advertise health claims for their products which would be illegal in the UK and EU, because they are not supported by scientific testing. For instance Americans have been persuaded that Nutella is a healthy breakfast food, and juicing is super healthy, neither of which is true. Even so these milks have only 10% of the market, which is probably not much higher than the incidence of lactose intolerance. It is therefore hardly a good example for the take up of frankenmeat. Personally, I would rather go without meat than eat something produced in a lab. If meat is made expensive, I will relegate it to special treat status, and do without it the rest of the time.

J Mac

Agree! Flavored artificial substitutes for natural milk should be labeled ‘artificial milk substitute’.


I’ve heard that melamine is a great whitener for milk substitutes.

george e. smith

Does anybody know if “Coffeemate” is even the same genus as milk, or is it more akin to chalk or perhaps sawdust ?

I put it in my coffee when they don’t have cream or 50/50, but I always wonder what we do that for.

In my case, I just like the brown color of the coffee. Well I don’t iike the taste of coffee anyway, so anything that makes it different is a good thing.


george e. smith

I once worked at Monsanto Chemical Central Research labs, and our electronics lab was right next door to the cooking lab.

And these chemical engineer chefs, would brew up batches of cookies and such made out of 92 different elements and guaranteed to be totally devoid of any type of food value. None of this, and none of that, so you could eat all the cookies you wanted and have no ill effects whatsoever.

So every now and then they would bring over a still hot batch of these cardboard substitutes for us to try out to see if they tasted any good.

It seems that the idea of not eating when you are not hungry, is not in the best American traditions, so people have to stoke up on non-nutritive materials to keep their bellies from slapping up against their ribs.

Some of that faux stuff was quite tasty, so I don’t know how much of it is now on the market in expensive cardboard boxes that taste about the same as the non food inside them.

But it’s all guaranteed to not make you obese, like eating food does.


Hopefully not all of those 92 elements! Some of those make you glow in the dark…

Russ Wood

Read Sir Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens” to see how the current ’embodiment’ of the classical “Famine” makes his living!


The odds of the franken-meat ever being cheaper than real meat are pretty low. Unless the makers deliberately undercut meat prices, allowing them to take over the market, and then jack up the price once the meat suppliers are out of business.

I am pro-GMO, but this is too out there for me. Better livestock management and usage worldwide would probably make a bigger difference.

John F. Hultquist

One of the interesting people working on this is a trained cardiologist. He (Uma Valeti) was involved in using stem cells to repair damaged heart muscle. His thought went from heart tissue to beef tissue. Not such a big leap. He is a co-founder of Memphis Meats. I say “Good luck.” I suspect many problems will have to be solved that they haven’t encountered yet.
See my comment above at 10:50 pm. It is not just about meat as food.


It won’t be cheaper at the start they would go the whole renewables path. Get subsidies and taxes and then try to ban the alternatives. It’s crazy leftist econutt policy 101.


I will be enjoying deer, buffalo, moose, salmon, trout, doll sheep, mountain goat, caribou and fresh organic vegetables from my garden. The rest of you can resign yourselves to chemistry experiments. Let me know how that goes!

Steve Zell

Is Beyond Meat really as not meat as Beyond Petroleum is not petroleum? Oh, wait a minute, Beyond Petroleum used to be British Petroleum.

If FrankenMeat doesn’t come from animals, does it come from Genetically Modified plants?

In this high-steaks gamble, the FrankenMeat people are bucking the trend–bison used to be an endangered species, and now their meat is available in supermarkets.

george e. smith

I hear that Emu is pretty good; and it tastes just like chicken too !


Emu tastes more like Spotted owl and Bald Eagle…

“Emu tastes more like Spotted owl and Bald Eagle…”

I like owls way too much to eat them. We have one in NSW called the Powerful Owl. An absolute badass of a raptor bird.

I’d rather invite a ‘roo for dinner anytime. Well never run out of ’em, and cheap as free if you shoot ’em yourself.

F. Leghorn

Like the comedian said “if you want to save the spotted owl start Kentucky Fried Spotted Owl” We’ve already made sure chickens will never go extinct.

Russ Wood

Yea, many years ago, there was an Analog article on “The Survival of the Tastiest”, showing why we today don’t have “Brontosaurus Burgers”.


Aw heck, the USA is way ahead of that curve. Thirty-one years ago they offered a “Surf-and-Turf” meal with buffalo and half a score of Japanese fried fish — “O tempura, o morays”!


Oops. Make that forty-one years ago. Blame it on “decadent oscillation”.

Robert Doyle

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration an the National Institute For Health will approve this in 2040 to 2050.
For the evaluation of a basic, complex “food” removal, the removal has to be considered.
The science does not exist to determine what red meat does to each race or sex.

My goodness.

george e. smith

Specially when you have 57 of those; and hermaphrodites are still excluded.


Just bought a sirloin tip roast for Christmas dinner (we did duck last year, but have no one coming). The more the AGW nutters buy soy milk and veggie burger, the less that sirloin tip roast will cost. Whats not to like?

Steve A

In the short term less demand leads to lower prices, but in the long run greater demand tends to lower costs through economy of scale and competition for market share.


Pan-seared duck breast is very close in flavor to beef. We raise ducks for butchering and find the meat quite good. I’ve only cooked a whole duck once. Generally, I bone out the breast meat and then cook it like steak.


Sheri, try plating it on a red onion balsamic vinegar marmalade. They go together very well.


Once they reach a consumption point the econutts will go for a full ban citing animal cruelity, emissions etc it is how they roll and enforce there politics on the world.

DeLoss McKnight

I remember Samuel R. Delany writing about meat being cultured in factories in mass produced fashion for people to eat. I believe that was from Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, published in 1984. We are already culturing tissue in labs to create transplant organs. It’s only a matter of time before Delany’s prediction becomes real. I wouldn’t want to be an early investor, though.

D. J. Hawkins

There was a short story published in Analog some years back. The setting is a congressional committee hearing, where the witness is testifying on behalf of the artificial meat industry. Seems some upstart is sweeping the table with an incredible product that the public can’t get enough of. The story ends with the witness saying “I’m going to have to define some terms for you. The first one is spelled C_A_N_N_I_B_A_L…”

“There was a short story published in Analog some years back. ”

Have you got the name handy?
Love to read it if I haven’t already.

D. J. Hawkins



The Food of the Gods by Arthur C. Clarke

It appears my memory as to where I saw it was incorrect. It was republished in 1972 in an anthology titled The Wind from the Sun.

Yum ! — Frankenburgers … just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than soy burgers. [I used to eat lots of soy, by the way, until I encountered the “oops, we were wrong about that” evidence against it.]


Soy milk- I understand that that has so negative side-affects for the male species, if some news report I read are accurate.

[“so many” side effects, or “not so many” side effects or “no” side effects for the male species? The typo is not clear. .mod]

Alan Robertson

Soy products have something to do with estrogen production. I’m not gonna look up any references to refresh my memory, but no thanks.


Plant estrogens are thousands of times weaker than estrogen produced by the body.


I think your typo was meat to say “some negative side effects”.


Solyent Green


Soylent Green

john york

If it tastes like bacon I’m in. Did you hear about the pig whose super power was eating garbage and making bacon?

… super power was eating garbage and making bacon?

You mean similar to how climate models work?

Those eat bacon and produce garbage.


The most interesting aspect of this is the same people who want Joe Normal to use public transportation or remain close to home, tethered by a short range electric car, and who want meat to be too expensive for the average person, and who want air conditioning all but banned, are the same ones pushing socialism. If socialism worked as they claim it does, then we would all be equal and live the same.

But it doesn’t.

There’s always someone at the top living as Rockefeller or Gates or Streisand live in a capitalist society. The progressives (socialists) claim equality, yet the Castros, Stalins, Kims, and Chavezes lead lives of extravagance and power, which they publicly decry as decadence in capitalist states.

The big difference? In socialist states, they shoot you or send you to a gulag if you speak your mind. The second biggest difference is that most poor people in capitalist countries do not live at the edge of starvation, while in true socialist countries, the average person isn’t far from that same edge.

And don’t bother talking about Scandinavia or other European countries. They’re only partly socialized. Their core economies remain market driven.

And in this season, let’s not forget the caring words of an avowed Progressive, the editor of BuzzFeed: “All I Want For Christmas Is Full Communism Now“.

Bill Illis

This company “grows” the meat from real animal cells in tanks. So it is actual meat.

They need to ramp up production levels and get production costs down, but it could work and one should also note, probably not.



Lab grown meat-stuffs, on the other hand, are O.K. though.

old white guy

eat fake stuff and live forever, yep, sure thing.

The real question is if CO2 is NOT a problem, would there be a viable market for this product?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but we are not at “peak cow”.


The original argument was animal cruelty, they will merge both arguments eventually to seek a ban on the alternative.

The sad thing is that Bos taurus will soon thereafter be extinct.

“For people who genuinely can’t afford meat at current prices, a cheap substitute which helped them and their children get the protein they require wouldn’t be a bad thing – though cutting red tape to help reduce the cost of real meat would likely achieve the same goal”

It’s hard to factory produce anything that matches the price of chicken and a number of pork cuts. Nor is hamburger expensive at $3 a pound.

Meanwhile, apples and much of the decent produce equal or exceed the cost of meat.

I can buy whatever is available at the farmer’s market; but their prices are set to be just below grocery stroe levels. What one gains from the farmer’s market is freshness; if one buys from the rare actual farmer.

Then again, I can buy a quarter steer or half a hog from a farmer butcher at rates far below grocery chain prices.

I do drink almond milk as late in life, my family’s lactose intolerance and casein allergies overcame any ability I had to tolerate milk. Otherwise, I’d still be drinking milk.

Nor do the many efforts to prepare various soy product meat imitations help.
Sadly, my body am also intolerant of legumes. Very sad, as I love well cooked beans and peas. Peanuts or soy beans in food have ruined many a day.

For a few dollars, a fishpole and a fishing license, one can catch panfish and catfish locally that are delectable.

The sad truth is, people mostly buy imitation meats for ideological or utterly mistaken reasons.

I don’t know how farmer’s markets are run where you live, but where I live, farmer’s market prices exceed grocery store prices considerably, as if buying good nutritional food is rich person’s pursuit, or as if nutritionally educated consumers have higher incomes and can be gauged for the higher cost of good, healthy food.

Farmer’s market, my ass. More like price-gauging-in-the-name-of-profit-because-eating-healthy-is-perceived-as-an-educated-affluent-high-income market.

Then, I would not consider that a farmers market.

That market is a classic example of the boutique markets the USDA pushed back in the 1970s with their “organic” labeling and product plan for small farmers. Yes, the whole “organic” movement was started by USDA as a method to aid small farmers to charge higher prices.

There are other imitation farmer markets that typically operate in or next to urban centers. Farmers, unless they’re desperate for cash, are very unlikely to drive far to run an urban located farm stand. Distance and time stuck in hot traffic seriously irritate farmers.

That said I know a couple who went into a farmstand career. They bought the stand lease and began operating the road side stand. Neither of them are farmers, gardeners or even green thumb folks. They are in it solely for the cash and buy/sell product solely for money. They do not care if the melons were picked when properly ripe or if the corn spent several days riding in the back of a pickup truck in hot weather.

Vote with your feet and wallet. Refuse to shop there.

My Father, and I take after him, would spot some stand operator’s sign that touts a product as some highly desired plant clonal name; e.g. Silver Queen sweet corn.
Irrespective, that silver queen is an older variety that has been far bypassed by modern sweeter corn varieties and is infrequently planted; sellers use the well known name as the lure to sell their unknown variety corn.

My Father will ask when was the corn planted?
Silver queen takes 92-110 days to grow and ripen.
With an early April plant date, (Virginia time); e.g. April 15th, means the corn can not be available before July 15th.
Late frosts are deadly to early planted corn, not that corn sprouts well when the soil is cold.
Silver queen corn safely planted after all threats of frost, e.g. May 1st; will not be available before the first week of August.

A more modern sweet corn variety can reach maturity in 77 days. That still leaves an April 15th planting not being ready before July 1st.

Local farmers will immediately tell customers whether they or a neighbor farmer grew the corn or that they got the corn from down south; and they’ll describe the shipping conditions too along with exactly when the corn was picked.
Farm stand shysters rarely tell the truth, even when cornered with their falsehoods. I’ve met a number who will insist they grew the corn when a mid-June shopping date eliminates local grown corn.

As a youngster, My Father grew corn and we sold it from our front porch in Pennsylvania.
When our stand of corn got too old, or rarely when we sold it all, we had a deal with a local farmer to sell his later plantings and split the profits.
Still, I and my Brothers had to get out and pick the corn before the sun got hot and then get it under cover and kept cool.
Day old corn got fed to the pigs.
Husking corn is never necessary to inspect corn ears. The corn silk and stem are the freshness indicators and wrapping one’s fingers around an ear lets one feel the kernel size and any cutworm gaps.
Dried stems indicate the ears were picked yesterday or older. Shriveled dry stems indicate days old corn, perhaps weeks.
Dried stiff corn silk means either overage corn (starchy) or that the corn was picked days ago.

Even today’s super sweet corn varieties start losing sweetness at the moment they’re picked. Heat and time affect the sweetness and flavor.

Few things equal local grown and plant ripened fruit, vegetables and produce. Beware of squeaky clean produce, as that usually means additional handlings.
Additional handlings bruise and damage ripe foods; which is a reason commercial growers pick early, while fruit and vegetables are still green and hard.

george e. smith

Well you know of course that they say that cyanide has the taste of bitter almonds. I wouldn’t know of course having never tried to find out.

But I understand that the truth is, that it is the other way round ! Same gose for apricot pits I believe.

So nyet on that almond milk for me.


John F. Hultquist

Bitter or wild almonds are toxic. Don’t think they can be had in the USA. There is not enough toxicity in US domestic almonds to notice. They are a seed, not a nut, nor a stone fruit pit such as apricots.

Natural Toxins in Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”

There are two basic almond flavorings available.
One is “bitter almond” which is harvested from those higher cyanide content almonds. As John F. Hultquist describes.

Almond macaroons, (the only macaroon in my mind) use bitter almond flavoring to accentuate the almond flavor. Excessive use of the bitter almond flavor is highly discouraged and definitely nor recommended.

Quite a few fruits have seeds containing cyanide. Basically the entire family of Rosaceae can have or do have cyanide or amygdalin which hydrolyzes into cyanide.
Rosaceae includes fruits like apples, pears, almond, peaches, quinces, cherries along with other plants; e.g. roses. Perhaps you’ve noticed how apple, peach, almond flowers resemble wild rose flowers?

It’s takes a large quantity of apple pips or even peach pits to reach dangerous levels of cyanide. Bitter almonds are much more deadly.

As with many things, keep things in moderation.


Give a man a fish and you fed him for a day,
Teach him to fish and he’s ruined for life

People prepping for the Grand Solar Minimum are starting cricket farms. I think I could stomach a cricket better that pretend roast beef.

Shanghai Dan

There is NO SUCH THING as Soy Milk! It is SOY JUICE. Milk comes from mammals! Just my rant for the day…

[But the mods saw a movie the other day proving nutritional milk comes from … interstellar sea beasts found on small islands just off of the coast of Ireland. .mod]

Of course, the word “milk” combined with the word “soy” is a misnomer. The idea, I suppose, is to help people trick their minds into thinking that they are drinking a different kind of “milk” that is really juice or cold broth or sludge or whatever you might want to call the watery brew.

Jellybean “milk”, anyone ?


“Soy Juice” is about 98% fat. Soybean oil Soy “milk” is processed soy protein(after pressing the oil), mostly blended with water, sugar, flavorings, vitamin additives, and calcium additives to make the nutritional content resemble real milk.


Soy milk is made by grinding soaked soybeans, boiling them in water and then separating the solids. The liquid is soy milk.

Soy juice is “a name for soy milk given by comedian Lewis Black after seeing it in a grocery store. He named it after stating “theres no such thing as soy milk, because theres no soy titty, is there?””

Tom in Florida

Soy milk starts at 1:51. Beware, some foul language used but then Lewis Black is one angry Jewish man.

All soy products with the exception of fermented are bad, it turns men into girly men growing man-boobs and increases the chances of breast cancer for women.

Mike Smith

The folks who buy this will be the same progressives that only buy “organic” foods to avoid “chemicals” and “artificial” components, blissfully unaware that it’s worse for the environment than conventional agriculture:

george e. smith

And “Certified Organic” does NOT mean free of artificial chemicals. Those certified growers are still allowed to use artificial chemicals; but just the chemicals the food police like. And I can’t buy the argument that the dung of non human animals is good to put on food crops.


Bryan A

Sounds like a load of manure to me too


Not to mention the impossibility of avoiding chemicals, because well… everything is made of chemicals.

Don K

Actually, if/when it is available, cheap, and can be made palatable, it’s what’ll be used in fast food. OK by me. I rarely eat fast food, but it’s not a religious issue with me. If the only food in sight is a Wendys or McDonalds, I’ll happily eat there. They use too much salt, but otherwise their food seems OK to me.

Several hundred thousand heavily armed Australian Beef, Lamb, Pork, Emu, Kangaroo and Poultry Growers including Sam Kekovich say “NO”.


Ah but the Left socialists have managed to largely disarm Australians.
Won’t happen ever in the USA.

Ill Tempered Klavier

bumper sticker: “When you come for my gun, I’ll give you the bullets first.”

“have managed to largely disarm Australians.”

Quite a few that matter are still armed, and the country is just immense compared with the population.


err no-one “farms roos 😉 theyre wild the meat on sale is from wild shot ones.
in Victoria over run with roos youre not even allowed to use the damned meat!
looks like that may change for petfood use
only a few decades behind the times SA has been providing pet and human consumption meat from wild roos for decades, yummy steaks cooks well,but you do need to be aware of tapeworm issues and never serve it rare

Love me some ‘roo, marinated in red wine, and cooked hot enough to erase any tape (worm).


If someone wants to make a new product, great. If they can sell it, wonderful. Why would anyone have a problem with that? Capitalism 101.


I have no problem with it as long as government stays out of the way.

What these “meat” cell growers need and want government to impose is highly restrictive government regulations against large scale animal operations like feed lots and abattoirs because animals emit methane (farts and belches, but mostly in belches for ruminants). And methane of course is “carbon pollution” in the climate religion fanatics view. To make this venture profitable, they need the coercive power of government to kill off their cheaper, better competition from live animals and the processing of those animals to grocery store meats.


one further note.
Most, if not all, of these “meat from tissue culture” advocates are from that same cultural mindset class that see late-term abortions as simply the removal of some extraneous tissue from the female body, as if it were a wart or tumor.


Joel is correct what gets argued next is the ban on real meat because of animal cruelty and CO2 emissions.Like most of the econutt things they aren’t willing to play on a level field they want to legalize only one option and erode your rights in the meantime.


During the drought we were hammered with “each almond represents 1 gallon of water!” so poof almond milk should have disappeared ,from an Enviro point of view. A beautiful 6 oz filet will be what, an acre of production of both field and factory?


The almond growers and their growers are slowly migrating out of California to southern Arizona.


errata: growers and their almond tree groves.

Well, southeast Arizona. Although groves around Yuma in the southwest are also expanding. The vast middle is mostly taken up by the bombing range – mixing bombs and nuts is a bad idea…


Anyone who has done sterile lab tissue culture (TC) knows the issues here. And there are many.

– The first is keeping cultures sterile during growth. Not a trivial task, but doable… with antibiotics.
– Tissue-culture grown muscle-fiber cells (myocytes, chondrocytes) are grown with a media concoction known as media+serum+amino acids+antibiotics.

Commercial media are simply phosphate-buffered saline solution with various sugars and a pH dye indicator (usually phenol red). Those are all non-animal derived. Common antibiotics like pennicillin and streptomycin are non-animal biologic origin, but they can be heat sterilized. But the other additives are not. Serum and essential amino acids come from animals.

By far the most commonly used serum is derived from fetal calf blood. It is a semi-clear to brownish colloidal liquid remaining after centrifuge spinning-down all the cells from the blood. Essentially it is the blood plasma with a few more treatments. Those additional procedures are used to remove antibodies and it is then slightly heated just enough to inactivate complement proteins (heat denaturation of protein structure). Other sources of serum can be used like horse, goat, even human. The biggest threat in animal-origin serum is the presence of virus particles too small to filter out. Some synthetic serum concoctions have been developed, but it is a poor substitute for animal-derived serum. No one really knows all what is in fetal calf serum. We know it contains lectins (protein-binding long-branched sugars) and inactivated proteins.

And then there are the antibiotics that must be added to culture media as the cells grow to inhibit bacterial growth/contamination. Without antibiotics, TC just won’t work past a few rounds of passing cells through culture.

Now I suppose these tissue “meat” cultures are being grown with some kind of synthetic serum to avoid the biohazard of viruses. But the essential amino acids are usually animal derived.

The bottom line is cell culture grown “meat” will be analogous to the coal-powered Tesla. If one traces backwards to all the products it takes to make it, you might as well just keep cows and feed them grass and water. Much easier. Much tastier.

A juicy beef steak or cut of lamb have their taste we crave because of the presence of blood. How hot one prepares the meat of course we call rare, medium, well-done, and variations in between. With TC-derived “meat” one probably gets a something that looks like a tofu-burger. And tastes about the same.


The other issue with TC is that it literally uses mountainous piles of plastics to growth the cells in. The plastic TC containers are usually polycarbonate plastic with a vapor-coating (for cell adherence). The plastic can be recycled after it is used, but then that’s more energy. But polycarbonate plastic is not as easily recycled as polyethylenes, And the original plastic comes from petroleum.


Since bacteria and molds are a constant problem, they could just as well grow the right strains of bacteria or mold from a petrol-based or grain-based substrate and harvest them to make their d..mned steak. That’s where a lot of industrial food ingredients already come from (citric acid, Maggi sauce, glutamate…)


I believe the main problem may be cell oxygenation and nutrient transport. You can grow a layer of epidermal cells over a petri dish easily. But if you want to grow a slice of meat, you need to provide all the cells with nutrients and oxygen, and remove all the garbage the cells produce, CO2 included. That is what the circulatory system is for.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to argue that grass fed beef is not environmentally sound. Grown in pastures that are too rocky to farm, or have to unfertile soil, it utilizes non-croppable land, has lower fat and better fatty acid profiles than conventional beef, lamb, mutton, or pork. It will be way better for you than any factory grown meat. I think the FDA would require long term replacement trials for vat grown meat, similar to drug trials but maybe lasting 3-4 generations to ensure wholesomeness before allowing it to mass market.

The primary source of vitamin B-12 is animal tissue, eggs, and milk, very little in plants. Most of the B-12 in a vegan diet comes from the insect contamination in most flour, especially organic flour or else B-12 supplements derived from meat or chemically sythesized vitamins. You could also try grasshoppers or crickets.

Tom Halla

Vegans will not deliberately eat bug, anyway, so crickets are out.


The UK noted some decades ago that strict vegan Hindu-men in the UK were having vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency issues aka beri-beri. But these traditional vegan Hindus were following the same diets they had used in their native India where beri-beri was not common.

What the investigation revealed was that Indian-origin white rice was highly contaminated with insects and insect parts, which of course was consumed along with the rice and thus they got their Vitamin B1. But in the UK, polished white rice was free of insect contamination. So these Hindu vegans were now getting beri-beri in a Western country with high food safety standards.


Maybe so, but polishing rice removes rice bran which contains B1. Extract of rice bran is used to treat beriberi. Brits must not add B1 to polished rice like yanks do.


similarly, fortified wheat flour has B vitamins (B vitamins: thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid, and sometime also calcium) added to it. Fortified wheat flour is now highly encouraged by governments (mandated?) in bread production of commercial bakeries.

Don K

“You could also try grasshoppers or crickets.”

Got to do something about the name though. Cricketburger is gonna be a tough sell. Microlobster meat maybe.

Peter Morris

Two words: Project Ginger

If you’re not familiar with the hype, just google the history of the Segway. All the same types of people were saying all the same types of things. It was the event that finally cured me of my own technology-as-savior mentality.

Alan Robertson

One of the most wrong- headed of the several mistaken notions within the Silicon Valley proposal is that properly managed cattle grazing is a net Carbon sequestration process. Properly managed grazing creates more productive, fertile soils.
Consider the most productive and fertile soils of North America. They are all found where vast herds of grazing Bovidae have played their part in building that soil, for eons.

Alan Robertson

pimf… should have read: …the failure to realize that properly managed…


Presuming that the ‘Frankenmeat’ contains the correct nutrients in the correct amounts as red meat:

Protein containing all 8 essential amino acids, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, naturally-occurring Ruminant Fats, Iron, Omega 3 and Omega 6.


I’m also reminded of George Orwell’s prediction in 1984 that real meat (steaks) were a luxury item not available to proles (working class). Only BigBrother party elites could acquire real meat.

Next up from Silicon Valley, the best recipes for Soylent Green.

Gary Pearse.

It might bring down the price of meat!


You might not be able to buy real meat it could be banned animal cruelty and Co2 emissions 🙂


Cool. As long as they compete freely without tax payer “incentives” ( carbon tax). Let the people freely choose their meat. I prefer the mooing kind thanks.

Cows are wonderful!
I hope this never catches on.
Well that might take care of the meat but what about milk, butter, cream?

Leo Smith

And cheese?

Tom in Florida

One word: Spam……………mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Let them eat seaweed. Let them take animal protein out of the stores. Even in California, we can still graze our own. “Got a shotgun, a rifle, and a four wheel drive; country folks can survive.”


I never thought something raw could smell burnt, until I tried seaweed salad for the first–and last–time.

Leo Smith

There is only one ‘a’ in ideological


“I want to be able to say you don’t have to make a choice in what you’re eating,” Memphis CEO and cofounder Uma Valeti says, “but you can make a choice on the process of how it goes to the table.”

What does that sentence even mean??? The second clause makes sense on its own, but the full sentence is nonsensical. I would not invest 17 cents in a company headed by someone who is that inarticulate.

People who invest in these schemes should have to pledge to only consume such products. No more real meat for Branson or Gates. I doubt either would/will actually consume the franken-meat behind closed doors anyway.

Well, we could always do what free marketeers say is the right way to prosper; “Eat the rich.” And their minions too. Call it redistribution. Just to be ‘fair’.

Dodgy Geezer

Stop being cruel to Yeast!


To me the biggest lie in all this anti animal flesh argument is that plant based food is better for the planet. Growing plants, in the modern, high yield setting requires large energy inputs in the form of artificial fertiliser (from oil), pesticide and herbicide (from oil), energy for production (from oil), transport (from oil) and post processing (from electrical sources), packaging (from oil), transport to the point of sale (from oil), consumer collection (from oil), cooking (from lets say electrical sources) and then disposal of said packing to recycling or land fill (from oil and/or electrical). In order for this to be viable government subsidy is required otherwise it’s not viable, same as renewables, its taking money from the masses and putting it into the pockets of the new tech elites. Most intensively farmed land is essentially dead hence the need for inputs to get the yield required. A wheat crop here in the UK requires 8 to 12 treatments during the season to get the yield and quality needed. This is not sustainable. Mixed farming i.e. animals and arable is; since the energy input requirements would be dramatically reduced and the land would be in ‘good heart’ as they used to say, ergo requiring less energy input.. Locally produced meat and vegetables require much less transport, packaging and all of the attendant overhead and marketing needed for mass distribution in the form of the omnipresent ‘supermarkets’. I’m not a Greenie at all but at times common sense needs to be bought to bear. The people developing these products see a market and the same ridiculous amounts of investment that have dominated the ‘tech’ markets which will enable them to trouser $$$$, the rest of the spin about the planet etc is utter BS.


” Most intensively farmed land is essentially dead hence the need for inputs to get the yield required.”

Maybe you are not a Greenie but you are repeating the greenies’ nonsense.
No, intensive farmland is not dead, neither “essentially” dead (whatever that means), nor any such things. Intensive farmlands are thriving and produce more and more each years. If they have less input, they will have less yield (but still more than “organic”), that’s all that’ll happens, but they are NOT dead.
It’s sad that you need to be explained such no brainer.


I don’t think you understood the premise of my reply i e that if we all become vegans all will be well according to the so- called eco warriors (not my view). My point being that mono cropping is not without its impact on resources, nor is it anymore ‘sustainable’ (I hate that word) than mixed farming or raising livestock, something that green vegan advocates don’t seem to grasp, rather like ignoring the fact that fabricating wind turbines has no carbon footprint. Intensive farmlands ‘thrive’ precisely because of the artificial fertiliser, pest treatment and plant breeding I listed- I live next to a large intensive farm, I see it year in year out and the number of fertiliser treatments is rising. The real growing condition of the soil is not important in this system of production since it’s condition can be modified as discussed above and it is just a medium for propagation. Over time the soil loses its structure and this can be a problem. I’m entitled to use any sentence modifiers as I see fit.