PETA is offering a $1 million prize to the scientist who can MacGyver commercially viable meat in a laboratory.

This has to be a joke, right?

As reported in this article, “the reward would go to the first scientist to produce enough test-tube chicken to be sold in 10 U.S. states by June 30, 2012, at a price competitive with prevailing chicken prices.”

Meat grown in a test tube. We are not talking about the mystery meat being produced today, but real, honest to God science fiction food.

To me, the fact that it is PETA offering their version of the Xprize is irrelevant. PETA is just attempting to dovetail the ongoing research into this engineered food-type product with their campaign to save animal life (deprive humans of a juicy steak). PETA president, Ingrid Newkirk was quoted as saying that “humans don’t need to eat meat at all,” and that since many people “refuse to kick their meat addictions, PETA is willing to help them gain access to flesh that doesn’t cause suffering and death.”

What is relevant is the shift from real food from real farmers for real people to meat from a laboratory.

And it’s going to happen. People will be buying this stuff.

  • For decades, we have been buying processed foods pumped with chemicals.
  • Now it’s normal to purchase food made from genetically modified seeds.
  • Some of us are eating food, like Quorn, which is processed in a lab, made from the filamentous fungus Fusarium venenatum strain PTA-2684.
  • As if that wasn’t bad enough, we eat foods designed to survive a nuclear winter (see Twinkie).

In today’s world of processed “food”, test tube meat may, in fact, be the ultimate foodstuff.

By purchasing “bio-meat”:

  • You are saving the environment,
  • You are preventing human starvation,
  • You are saving the animals,
  • You will probably be saving yourself from heart disease.

Maybe this stuff isn’t so bad. Then again, it still sounds pretty gross to me.