I’m okay with artificial flowers. I don’t mind artificial turf. Who can argue with artificial intelligence? (Apparently, not even the people on Jeopardy.) Honestly, some of my friends are kind of artificial so it would be wrong for me to object to anything that had that label.
However, this headline did catch my attention: ARTIFICIAL MEAT IS SIX MONTHS AWAY. I almost choked on my reduced-fat Hebrew National Hot Dog. This announcement comes from research at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. The institution used to be called Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, but even the Dutch couldn’t pronounce that so now they’ve shortened it to UM. You hear a lot of students saying, “I’m going to UM, a really cool college.” Which is what every undergrad says when you, um, ask them where they are studying. By the way, Holland is an odd place for this kind of research. The Dutch make their shoes out of wood when they could have chosen leather. Is this who we want developing a tasty substitute for meat?
The article reports that scientists are growing synthetic sausages from “pig cells fed by horse serum,” and what a catchy phrase that will make on the package. It has a better ring to it than Johnsonville Fakes. This is obviously not an option for vegans or vegetarians. It’s for people who enjoy meat, but prefer that what they eat has spent its entire life in a test tube, not chewing its cud and emitting greenhouse gasses. I have been informed that these gasses come mostly from the cows burping. Somehow, I thought you’d be relieved to hear this.
Savvy marketers are gearing up for a media blitz to embarrass real carnivores into trying what they plan to call a Vitro Burger. The ad agency has already started spreading rumors that the most popular McDonald’s menu choice has dead cow in it. This approach was persuasive in focus groups, especially with people who still question the President’s birth certificate and the moon landing.
One scientist admits that right now the meat they are making is generic looking, but in his words, “I’m hopeful we can have an actual hamburger in less than a year,” which is also a commonly heard phrase from people in line at the Burger King drive-thru. Creating this first artificial burger will cost about $350,000, but that does include a soft drink and a small order of fries.
Apparently, the color of the “meat” is kind of a pasty white due to the lack of blood. The result is the product doesn’t look very appetizing. I could see where that might hinder sales. I totally lose my appetite when my food doesn’t look bloody.
The corporate chefs promoting this new creation are suggesting the faux burger be served on a gluten-free, low-carb, no-sodium bun. Is there any actual food in this sandwich? I’ll eat anything, but it does have to be something.
If my friends want to go to a restaurant that offers bogus beef, I’ll simply refuse to eat that artificial stuff. I’ll just have a Diet Coke, thank you.



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