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Scientists Grow Meat in Labs (OMG!)

Meat made in a petri dish is apparently a real thing.

In what appears to be the culinary world’s latest interpretation of Mary Shelley, scientists have already solved the riddle of making animal flesh in a lab, and are now figuring out how to sell it profitably, according to Food Safety News.

Lab meat is significantly different than your run-of-the-mill vegetarian substitute.

Food Safety News notes: “In vitro or cultured meat is not imitation meat — like all those vegetable-protein products that don’t taste anything like beef or chicken. In vitro or lab-grown meat is animal flesh, except it never was part of a living animal.”

There are at least 30 projects under development worldwide to come up with more of these cultures. NASA scientists have already proved the process possible.

And a lot of companies want to invest in these products because they see a potential windfall in selling cruelty-free meat to vegs worldwide.

The rub? Researchers need to make sure that man-made meat is commercially viable.

Many are now scrambling to do so because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has promised $1 million to the researcher who can develop “lab-grown chicken with the same taste and texture as real chicken meat, and sell at least 2,000 pounds of the in vitro product in 10 states by early 2016.”

One of the contest’s first deadlines will take place in June. The ultimate cutoff for the contest is February 28, 2016, when “PETA judges and ‘a panel of 10 meat-eating individuals’ will reportedly be involved in the comparison tasting,” Food Safety News reports.

 

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FDA Says ‘No’ to Drugged Up Livestock

Cows, chickens, and pigs in America are on lots of drugs — and even account for 80 percent of the country’s antibiotic consumption, Time reports.

But now, Food and Drug Administration officials have called on the ag industry to limit antibiotic use in livestock, as they think it might lead to the growth of deadly, drug-resistant bacteria: On January 4, the FDA banned farmers from using a class of these medicines in excess or for preventative reasons.

This particular group of antibiotics, cephalosporins, gets used frequently in humans to treat strep throat and bronchitis, Time notes.

The livestock industry commonly doses animals with antibiotics before they get sick, though they are not intended to prevent disease.

About 100,000 Americans die each year from infections related to drug-resistant bacteria, Time reports, and many fear that the situation will only worsen if animals routinely ingest antibiotics in their food and water.

This is not the first time the FDA has moved to enact such a rule.

In 2008, the administration tried establishing a similar regulation, but got too much flack from the ├╝ber-wealthy ag lobby.

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L.A.’s Animal Tells Us Where They’re Eating While They’re in NYC

Think of Animal as the Momofuku of Los Angeles, a (justifiably) hyped temple to inventive meat cookery helmed by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, two dudes who seem too laid-back to have won Food & Wine‘s Best New Chefs of 2009 and gotten several James Beard Award nominations.The duo just opened Son of a Gun, a seafood spot around the corner from their first restaurant. Fork in the Road spotted Jon Shook grilling chicken hearts at Meatopia and decided to ask him where he and Vinny were eating while they were in New York.

Welcome to New York! Come here often?

We come out here kind of frequently. It definitely inspires us; the food scene here is top-notch and there are lots chefs we are friends with here.

So, where have you been eating while you’ve been here?

Dude, we go all over. This week we scored reservations at Ko; we’re psyched to go because we’ve never been. All of Chang’s stuff is really awesome. I’ve been really digging Fatty Crab recently. Roberta’s, of course. We’ve been trying new stuff like Mile End. We just went to Marlow & Sons for a light lunch before we came here. We get around [Laughs.].

You’re serving chicken hearts with a burnt eggplant puree; aren’t you afraid that some people might be wary of eating that?

We figure you’ve got to be a real meat eater to eat chicken hearts. You come to these events and everyone is always doing ribs and bellies, really common cuts. We wanted to bring something nobody else is doing.

Are you ever going to open a restaurant in New York?

If the right opportunity came, we’d take it, but it’s a pretty far flight from L.A. We’ll see how things go. Vinny is from Long Island, my wife has a place here, so we’ll see how it goes.