Grow Your Own ... Meat?

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Photo: Danielle Berman; Photos: iStockphoto

In these still-lean economic times, we'll get behind growing one's own herbs and mushrooms (though maybe not chia seeds), but one scientist in South Carolina is taking it much, much further: He's growing meat. Like, in a lab. Sure, it sounds like something out of a seventies sci-fi movie, but no, it's real, and it's for a good cause! Namely, to help prevent the impending global food crisis.

According to Reuters, Dr. Vladimir Mironov "has taken myoblasts — embryonic cells that develop into muscle tissue — from turkey and bathed them in a nutrient bath of bovine serum on a scaffold made of chitosan (a common polymer found in nature) to grow animal skeletal muscle tissue." Delicious! The meat can be made as lean or as fatty as is currently in vogue! And they can apparently make it taste like pork, lamb, beef, whatever! This kind of laboratory meat is considered cultured, so don't worry, say the people involved in making it — it's pretty much just like beer and yogurt. Plus, if the technology goes large-scale, it'll be more affordable and ecofriendly than factory farming. Just think: If meat gets even cheaper, Taco Bell might someday be able to afford to stuff its menu items with 100 percent "beef"!

South Carolina scientist works to grow meat in lab [Reuters]