Wednesday, June 6, 2007

zero-waste pork chops

Upon consideration, one might feel inclined to admit that the practice of factory farming animals does very little good for the state of things on the planet. Except, of course, the moment of bliss when the sweet succulent taste of bbq'd burgers hits the tastebuds. Or something.
The point is that in order to get that patty to the plate, a few things are happening behind the scenes. For example, in the U.S, 250,000 pounds of animal excrement has to be dealt with every second. A daunting task - humans in the U.S create 12, 000 pounds per second and it's treated through sewer systems, a commodity lacking on feedlots.
Then there's the growing resistance to antibiotics which can be transfered to the carnivores consuming the meat. In fact, every year in Canada, "50 per cent of the total tonnage of antibiotics used in Canada ends up in livestock. And every year cattle raised in massive feedlots are routinely dosed with antibiotics even if they are not sick."
Burgers don't just grow on trees. Unfortunately. Because if they did, or at least if they grew in fields, it would take about 1/100 of the amount of water to make a pound of beef as compared to a pound of wheat.
And also, it's pretty unfair to the animals to be commodified in a way that takes away any semblance of a life worth living.
So, who better to come up with a solution than the Dutch? (And you have to trust the Dutch, they invented Amsterdam.)
"Dutch researchers are trying to grow pork meat in a laboratory with the goal of feeding millions without the need to raise and slaughter animals."
Potentially, just bits and pieces of animals will be grown in petri dishes without having to feed, "care for," transport, slaughter, and dispose of carcases. Imagine the guilt-free process of buying a rump that was grown in a little glass dish. Just like your sea monkeys.
The scientists say they have a few years to go before you'll find lab-grown animal parts on the supermarket shelves. So far, Bernard Roelen and his team have "managed to grow only thin layers of cells that bear no resemblance to pork chops." But at least (??) they're trying...
If you have 45 minutes, you could watch this. It's a documentary called FrankenSteer that takes an in depth look at the beef industry in Canada. A warning, you don't be eating while you do.