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March 8, 2010

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In Vitro Meat's Evolution

By Jason Gelt
From Los Angeles Times

With the meat industry's demands on the environment multiplying, New Harvest's Jason Matheny says we're getting closer to creating a processed product that will have significantly less impact.

In 1932, Winston Churchill, appalled by the leftover bones and gristle crowding his dinner plate, predicted that in 50 years "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 taken longer than that, but at the dawn of the 21st century we're finally closing in on tasty and eerily healthy meat grown by scientists instead of Old MacDonald.

"It's been a thought problem for scientists for decades," says Jason Matheny, director of New Harvest, a nonprofit organization devoted to global efforts to produce cultured meat. With meat consumption in heavily populated countries like China and India multiplying every decade, the environmental complications resulting from industrial meat production have reached critical mass.

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