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YOU’RE MEAT: Scientists have created an edible steak made from human cells

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Ouroboros Steak's DIY kit allows users to collect cells from their own cheek using a cotton swab and depositing them onto pre-grown scaffolds made from mushroom.

IAIN LEGGAT: Made by a group of American scientists, the Ouroboros Steak could, in theory, be grown by the diner in the comfort of their home, using their own cells, which are harvested from inside of the cheek. The steaks are then fed serum, derived from expired, donated blood… The prototypes were created without causing any harm to animals – something the creators are hoping makes a statement about the growing selection of cultured meat made from animal cells.

The meat industry is becoming increasingly reliant on fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is a protein rich growth liquid for cell cultures. FBS is derived from the blood of calf fetueses, and is often sourced when pregnant mothers are killed in the meat and dairy industries. FBS is priced at around £300 to £700 per litre, with scientist Andrew Pelling telling Dezeen that fetal bovine serum “costs significant amounts of money and the lives of animals.” He added, “Although some lab-grown meat companies are claiming to have solved this problem, to our knowledge no independent, peer-reviewed, scientific studies have validated these claims…

The prototypes were created without causing any harm to animals – something the creators are hoping makes a statement about the growing selection of cultured meat made from animal cells. The meat industry is becoming increasingly reliant on fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is a protein rich growth liquid for cell cultures. FBS is derived from the blood of calf fetueses, and is often sourced when pregnant mothers are killed in the meat and dairy industries…

The creators of the Ouroboros Steak envision the DIY steak kit allowing users to collect cells from their own cheek using a cotton swab and depositing them onto pre-grown scaffolds made from mushroom mycelium. They are then stored in a warm environment for three months and fed human serum until the steak is fully grown. Industrial designer on the project, Grace Knight, argues that using human blood is cheaper and more sustainable than FBS. She also highlights that this project is “technically not” cannibalism.

She adds,“People think that eating oneself is cannibalism, which technically this is not. Our design is scientifically and economically feasible but also ironic in many ways. “We are not promoting ‘eating ourselves’ as a realistic solution that will fix humans’ protein needs. We rather ask a question: what would be the sacrifices we need to make to be able to keep consuming meat at the pace that we are? In the future, who will be able to afford animal meat and who may have no other option than culturing meat from themselves?”  SOURCE…

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