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September 10, 2006

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We're Not a Film Company... We're a Flatness Company

How should Kodak save itself? Get into the laboratory-grown meat business, of course.

Come on, you pretty much have to click that link.

Posted September 10, 2006 at 12:40 | Comments (7) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Technosnark


Kodak could certainly use a new line of business. I lived through it's 25 year transition from an employer of approximately 60,000 Rochesterians to a total now closer to 15,000. The University of Rochester has recently overtaken it as Rochester's largest employer. Who would have seen that coming?

At the same time, I'm not sure what sort of market there would be for lab-produced meat. The most obvious use for a really flat, industrial beef-like product is to mass produce hamburgers and cheese-steaks. But one can already get really cheap meat for that purpose from large slaughterhouses that feed their cattle government-subsidized grains and include e coli for free. Which is to say that lab meat might have a chance if the pressure were turned up against the indecency and unhealthiness of current meat disassembly processes.

Maybe I'm just dreaming here, but I think a bit of a heat-up might be coming. I do think people are slowly becoming more aware of the weirdness of the food chain extending down below them.

But yes, policy is involved too. We need to scale back corn subsidies over the course of 5-10 years, and also work to work on ARPAMEAT.

You heard me.

The article you linked is still working under the assumption of very thin meat cultures, which is not really the cutting edge. Remember how British scientists are working on using ink-jet technology to print organs? Those can also (supposedly) be used to create cultured meat products with the same thickness, texture, and appearance of farmed meat.

Here are links to worldchanging:
Number 2 is particularly relevant.

Vegetarianism seems to be on the rise. Here are two US surveys from 2000 and 2003. In summary, the percent of the poll population reported as vegetarian in 2000 was 2.5, in 2003, 2.8. Further, the percent who don't eat meat other than fish or poultry in 2000 was 4.5, in 2003, 6 (including the vegetarians).

Of course, with something like cultured meats, you have a real conflict between the vegetarians for ethical or environmental reasons, and the natural food types. The organic food industry is also on the rise in a big way. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Ah hahaha... life comes full circle. When we're all locked away in our knowledge worker isolation cubes, with only a thin slit open to the outside world, we'll ALL eat flat food.

i don't know if i'd want to eat it if it tasted like beef, i still can't get up the nerve to order the soy beef at golden era. it looks too much like the real thing, which i've been avoiding for 16+ years now. the flat thing wouldn't bother me. i'd also pay money for flat meat if there wasn't that awful butcher shop smell in all meat departments.

you should really read oryx and crake. in the book there's this stuff called "chickie-nobs" which are chicken breasts that are connected to the minimal amount of a chickens brain needed to keep it alive. the peta type people in the book freak out, of course, and release the "chickie-nobs" into the wild. where they promply die, because they don't have feet, or brains, etc. around our house all soy chicken products are now referred to as "chickie-nobs." gross! it does raise some interesting questions though.

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