Will You Eat Artificial Meat Grown In A Lab? What If It Was Delicious Bacon?

Would you eat one of these totally delicious-looking bacon strips?

Odds are you would. If you were like me, you might want to eat all of them.

Now, what if I told you it was definitely bacon, but that it had never been inside a pig? That it had been genetically grown in a lab? Would you still eat it?

As it happens, that picture up there is just regular bacon. Unfortunately, bacon-growing technologies have not yet gotten to the point that they can make something that looks and tastes exactly like bacon. But they are working hard on hamburger right now and bacon is sure to follow. Frankly, I think their error is not on selling us on lab-bacon first, but that might just be due to hamburger being easy to make. Or to appease radical Islam. Take your pick.

In previous articles, I’ve talked about how in many ways the future could be unrecognizable to us all, whether from how great it is, or from how awful. In some ways, though, getting people to the future will depend on making the future very recognizable.

In the case of artificial meat, there’s a lot at stake. It could be a way to feed starving people. It could help end terrible agricultural practices. It could lead to insufferably smug vegans finally being forced to shut the f*** up about animal cruelty, because no animals will be involved.

It’ll reduce greenhouse gases (and even if you don’t believe in climate change, reducing the worldwide volume of cow farts just sounds like a good idea on principle). But to me, mainly, it’s just freaking cool.

I realize I’m in a minority. Far more people are likely to be freaked out at the thought of lab-grown flesh than excited about what that promises for the future. So it’s not enough to just make lab-meat. It’s not enough for these poor scientists to even make it delicious. They need to make it indistinguishable.

People have hangups about anything related to genetically-modified food, or chemical additives, as if those things are always awful (even though they actually saved billions of lives) and Mother Nature always gets it right. It doesn’t help that, right now, the meat looks like this:

Maybe part of the problem is also that the people making it, and trying to convince us to eat it, look like this:

When really, they should get someone in there who looks more like this:

I’m pretty sure I would trust the guy in the first picture to sell me cough syrup, but I wouldn’t listen to anything he had to say about barbecue. On the other hand, the second guy? I’d buy any steak he’s selling.

None of this is happening in the future, it’s all going on right now. In fact, there’s been lab-grown meat fit for human consumption for four years now. But there are problems. The meat is basically ground beef, but it has no fat, so it lacks a lot of the flavor and is less juicy than regular hamburger meat. However, even now testing indicated that it was more likely to be thought of as meat than any soy-burger on the market. And because, after all, it IS meat! It’s literally made from a tiny sample from a muscle of a cow.

The next step is going to be making fat. Then they’ll have to work on the texture, and later the same process can be used to create any kind of meat.

Of course they’ll have to perfect the look, and they will. There will come a point, probably within a decade or two, where you may have two juicy delicious-looking bacon cheeseburgers in front of you; they will look absolutely identical. They will taste exactly the same. One might be a little more expensive than the other (but in another 10-20 years it will be the cheaper option), but that will be the only visible difference. One won’t have anything on it (except maybe the cheese, but maybe not!) that came from a real animal on it. The other will.

Most people, out of this misguided but understandable idea about Mother Nature, would pick the one that came from a murdered cow rather than the one from the lab.

It’s stupid. The idea we shouldn’t ‘mess with nature’ is stupid. We’ve been doing that for at least 10,000 years now. It’s called agriculture. Almost nothing you eat existed the way it was ‘in nature’ before we radically changed it.

And that’s OUR nature. To use tools. To improve things. To take nature’s crappy designs and make them better. Nothing about any of the meat you eat right now (unless you’re a hunter) is natural, it’s just that we’ve been altering our food for so long we don’t realize it.

Will it change your mind if I point out that, in addition to tasting the same, looking the same, being just as nutritious, and eventually costing less, lab-grown meat could actually be better for you?

Never mind the animal-cruelty stuff, here’s what’s in it for you: lab-grown meat isn’t full of growth hormones like all the meat you eat right now. Or pesticides. Or antibiotics. It doesn’t have the stuff that’s making us all sterile and damaging our resistance to disease and Kek knows what else!

Scientists could even add-in Omega-3 to end up making this:

…good for your heart.

That, my friends, is the promise of lab meat. It’ll taste the same, but it won’t make you grow tits (well, at least not from bovine hormones), and it’ll force the Heart Attack Grill to change their name.

So NOW would you eat it??