ARGH, you can now eat human steak and scientists say it's not cannabalism
This is the future, apparently
The meat industry has been exploring new ways to produce meat without harming animals while also reducing the impact on the environment in the process and sometimes, they get creative. And I mean really creative. Food engineers have apparently figured out a way to grow steaks from human cells, yes, and scientists say it's not cannibalism.
So how do you end up eating human steak? Scientists have come up with a 'grow-your-own' steak kit and the Ouroboros Steak, this is the name of the product, can be grown from cells scraped from the inside of your cheek and fed serum from old donated blood. Yes, everything you just read is creepy but somehow true. In fact, they call it the Ouroboros after the Egyptian snake that eats itself.
The steak currently only exists as a prototype but it is an edible piece of meat, grown from human cells. This is, in part, an attempt to shed light on the issue of FBS, which stands for Fetal Bovine Serum, a protein-rich liquid, which comes from the blood of calf fetuses and is used to produce meat. It is relatively expensive, a litre can cost up to £700, and using this serum is a highly controversial practice as the pressure to use environmentally-friendly solutions increases. Ouroboros Steak designer and scientists Andrew Pelling said that one of the problems is that "Fetal bovine serum costs significant amounts of money and the lives of animals. Lab grown steak is becoming ever more popular".
The Ouroboros steak is indeed created without FBS in order to make a point that lab-grown meat can be produced without harming animals. The mini-steaks, which were displayed at the Design Museum in Philadelphia, PA earlier this year, were fed with human serum made from expired blood donations and the idea is to eventually get people to use a DIY kit to grow steaks using cells from the inside of their own cheek, and then growing the steaks themselves using mushroom mycelium scaffolds.
Grace Knight, industrial designer who helped design the project, said this is not technically cannibalism and "Expired human blood is a waste material in the medical system and is cheaper and more sustainable than FBS, but culturally less-accepted".