Meat, in vitro?

Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University" />Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University In late 1998, bioengineer Morris Benjaminson and his colleagues at Touro College in New York decided to do some cooking. They dipped fillets of goldfish muscle tissue in olive oil flavored with lemon, garlic, and pepper, and fried them. It was appetizing work. "They looked and smelled ju

Stephen Pincock
Sep 1, 2007
<figcaption>Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University</figcaption>
Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University

In late 1998, bioengineer Morris Benjaminson and his colleagues at Touro College in New York decided to do some cooking. They dipped fillets of goldfish muscle tissue in olive oil flavored with lemon, garlic, and pepper, and fried them. It was appetizing work. "They looked and smelled just like fish fillets," says Benjaminson. Unfortunately, all the scientists could do is look and smell - according to Food and Drug Administration rules, no one could taste the filets, because they came from a most unconventional source.

The work, funded by NASA, was driven by the premise that astronauts on long flights need easy access to meat that isn't freeze-dried. Why not grow it in vitro? So they did. Cultured in fetal bovine serum and other media, goldfish muscle grew an average of 14%.

A few years...