Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vanity Fair; Green Again?

Vanity Fair's Third Annual "Green Issue" is on the shelves. So, if it is the third annual, how many years before it becomes uncool and Vanity Fair moves on? Note the use of Polar Bears; is this the next species to be rolled out to appeal to people's sense of caring? Should we instead be highlighting members of humanity that are already experiencing the negative affects of climate change and higher food prices due to the biofuel ("grain -drain" as a fellow member of NetImpact called it) boom?

Wait a second! Here's the next silver bullet to solve the food problem from the NYTimes. Make as much fuel from plant matter as you want, we have in vitro meat manufacturing on the horizon!

Can People Have Meat and a Planet, Too?

The world has seen the first international conference on manufacturing meat. This is the process, tested so far only at laboratory scale, of growing pork, chicken, or beef through cell culture in vats instead of raising and slaughtering animals.

This may have some merit, BUT how much meat do we really need from a nutritional perspective? I am no dietician, but I do know that we evolved as omnivores; we like many different food items to obtain the nutrients we need for life. It's the protein, right?

My mental model about meat grown in an industrial process (it's what we do now) sans animal leads me down the path of Brave New World. I should be open to the possibilities.

Oh, and the Vanity Fair set will love cruelty-free meat products.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Growing meat in vats is so wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin. The simplest point of attack may be to point out how badly food scientists do processed food now, from a nutritional standpoint. Michael Pollan has just done a fantastic job of summarizing this in his latest book I won't try here. But knowing the extraordinary range of chemical properties found in naturally grown whole foods, many (perhaps most) still unknown to science in terms of how they interact with our bodies to keep us healthy, I can't imagine that the clone scientists will be able to begin to come close to replicating whole wholesome foods in a vat. If you think our society is unhealthy now, wait until we go down this road.