February 9, 2021

"An Israeli company unveiled the first 3-D-printed rib-eye steak on Tuesday, using a culture of live animal tissue.... Aleph Farms’ new 3-D bioprinting technology — which uses living animal cells..."

"... as opposed to plant-based alternatives — allows for premium whole-muscle cuts to come to market, broadening the scope of alt-meat in what is expected to be a rich area of expansion for food companies. ...  The new meat-making process, developed with research partners at the Israel Institute of Technology, prints living cells that are incubated on a plant-based matrix to grow, differentiate and interact to achieve the texture and qualities of a real steak. It has a system similar to an animal’s vascular system, which allows cells to mature and nutrients to move across thicker tissue, resulting in a steak with a similar shape and structure to traditional cow tissue before and during cooking. 'It’s not just proteins, it’s a complex, emotional product,' says Aleph chief executive Didier Toubia."


It made me think the steak scene in the 1986 movie "The Fly," Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is testing his teleportation device by running a half of a steak through it. He then cooks the teleported and unteleported halves of the steak and feeds them to his girlfriend Ronnie (Geena Davis). The unteleported steak, Ronnie says, "tastes like a steak" As for the teleported steak: "Oh... Oh, oh, tastes funny." She spits it out. "It tastes... synthetic." 

Brundle theorizes: "The computer is giving us its interpretation... of a steak. It's, uh translating it for us; it's rethinking it, rather than reproducing it, and something is getting lost in the translation.... The flesh. It should make the computer, uh crazy. Like those old ladies pinching babies. But it doesn't; not yet because I haven't taught the computer to be made crazy by the... flesh. The poetry of the steak. So, I'm gonna start teaching it now."

55 comments:

alfromchgo said...

Golum next?

NCMoss said...

Hmm, tastes like 3D chicken to me.

Dave Begley said...

How did it taste?

Nothing beats Nebraska beef. I can look out my office at the packing plant of Omaha Steaks. I urge the entire Althouse community to buy something from Omaha Steaks. I think they are having a sale right now.

jaydub said...

It's rare to find a steak from a print medium that is well done.

Mr Wibble said...

Vat-grown meat is still better than any "plant-based" soy poison. But I'll take old-fashioned meat from a cow instead, please.

That said, hopefully this is a sign that the ability to rapidly construct replacement organs and muscle tissue is coming sooner rather than later.

Mr Wibble said...

jaydub said...
It's rare to find a steak from a print medium that is well done.


Go sit in the corner and think about what you did.

Leland said...

I’m sticking to the all natural.

Francisco D said...

I don't think I can get my head around this.

Temujin said...

Great 'The Fly' reference. The Israelis are working on so many fronts and coming up with so many inventions lately. The other countries around them should back off. Just let them tinker. (recent news talked about a covid cure: Covid Cure?

I'll be eating natural meat in my lifetime. The future generations? Not so much.

tcrosse said...

All the meat that's fit to print.

Mikey NTH said...

Sounds interesting, but I wonder what is the cost of doing this? I could see it becoming a prestige thing for people that value that sort of thing no matter the cost, but that would leave it as a niche product.

tcrosse said...

Can this be the gateway to Kosher pork?

Quayle said...

As long as it not people being reprinted, I'd be OK with it. Imagine the market for a huge steak printed precisely in the shape of Texas.

Joe Smith said...

All this talk of 'the flesh' is beginning to sound quasi-religious.

On the other hand, I grilled a nice tri-tip yesterday.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Can this be the gateway to Kosher pork?

Harry Turtledove has already been there..

Wince said...

Althouse said...
The unteleported steak, Ronnie says, "tastes like a steak"

If I recall correctly, she said it lacked "finesse".

Humperdink said...

Will it copyrighted or patented?

Will it be labelled the impossible rib-eye?

Laurel said...

Another Jeff Goldblum scene, also quite apt.

https://youtu.be/4PLvdmifDSk

Mattman26 said...

Working from distant memory here, but in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, our hero who's been swept from his English garden into a spaceship asks the ship's onboard computer to make him a cup of tea. The effort is so arduous for the computer that it freezes up just about every other function on the ship, and for an absurd length of time, all to produce a cup of something that tastes almost entirely, but not completely, unlike tea.

Kate said...

One step closer to my longed-for Star Trek future.

Lucien said...

Bone-in? Or do you have to buy the optional "ossifier" attachment for the printer?

Wilbur said...

When it starts reproducing (copying itself) let me know.

stevew said...

They've been doing this on Star Trek forever. The Israelis are the most creative and innovative people on earth these days.

zipity said...


Anybody think that the animal rights nutjobs are going to be okay with using cells from animals to make this?

"Free the Cells!"

Skeptical Voter said...

Now this is a steak for your average San Francisco wokester. They like to get their meat in the supermarket "where no animals are harmed".

And it's also the absolute living nightmare for those Europeans who shrilly ban any food prepoared with GMO grains--calling it "Frankenfood". Well bunkie in Brussels, the Israeli labs have just delivered reall "Frankenfood".

RNB said...

See Arthur C. Clarke, 'The Food of the Gods.'

https://everything2.com/title/The+Food+Of+The+Gods

RNB said...

"...USDA and FDA don’t yet have regulatory framework to bring it to market." So basically you can't do anything new until the government gives you permission?

MadisonMan said...

I'll pass. For now. But this is fascinating new technology.

Alexander Pope said it best:

Be not the first, by whom the new are tried
Nor yet the last, to lay the old aside

Larry J said...

If they can make it reasonably inexpensive and reliable, I can see use for this technology to feed people in remote locations such as Antarctica. I'm sure the people who "winter over" at those really isolated stations would appreciate a steak every now and then. It could also be useful in space. No one is going to send cows to Mars, and I doubt if all astronauts would convert to being vegans for the duration of the mission.

JMW Turner said...

Synthetic, 3-D printed beef, ummm, it's what's for dinner! Actually, the sheer novelty of this foodstuff will probably drive the cost up, preventing most from buying and consuming this exotic protein. One more product that differencates the haves from the have-nots.

PM said...

Larry J: "If they can make it reasonably inexpensive and reliable, I can see use for this technology to feed people in remote locations such as Antarctica."

Or anywhere. Isn't it climate change that's driving the exodus from the southern hemisphere (read: Africa) into Europe? This is a fine solution for allowing people to defeat hunger and build a life in their home countries, should it play out.

rehajm said...

Whatforwhy?

Yancey Ward said...

The plan is to replace real meat with very, very, very expensive synthetic meat.

Bob said...

"'It’s not just proteins, it’s a complex, emotional product,' says Aleph chief executive Didier Toubia."

Oh, god, it has feelings, too?

tommyesq said...

Anybody think that the animal rights nutjobs are going to be okay with using cells from animals to make this?

Also, if we eliminate the need for pigs/cows/chickens, etc. to be raised in great numbers for meat, we will have far (far far far) fewer such animals.

Howard said...

There's not enough water in the Ogalalla aquifer to keep up the factory farm cheap meat complex forever. The coastal elites always fund new technology advancement. You people are just jealous of their economic success and their contributions to the free market capitalist economy.

Don't worry, the libtard elites will soon figure out how to pay redundant deplorables not to work. In exchange, you will be forced to eat less and lower on the food chain.

walter said...

No whey!
What's the carbon footprint?
Will it allow cows to remain free from methane collection attachments?
Speaking of emotional, Big Soy gonna get mad about this.

James K said...

They like to get their meat in the supermarket "where no animals are harmed".

Depending on how they get the "culture of live animal tissue." I also noticed in the WaPo piece that eating real meat is described in criminal-like terms, with the target of course being us deplorables: "the worst offender: Americans eat nearly 50 billion burgers a year."

rehajm said...

There's not enough water in the Ogalalla aquifer to keep up the factory farm cheap meat complex forever

He claims, without evidence.

Howard said...

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/national-climate-assessment-great-plains%E2%80%99-ogallala-aquifer-drying-out

Joe Smith said...

"See Arthur C. Clarke, 'The Food of the Gods.'"

"To Serve Man."

Rusty said...

Now do bacon!

Lars Porsena said...

But is it kosher?

mockturtle said...

No thanks.

PB said...

No mention of how it tastes. It makes the article incomplete.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Not yet ventured outside the Chordata Phylum, as to steaks; scant intention to do so.

Yancey Ward said...

It tastes like synthetic chicken.

Yancey Ward said...

That's ok, there is always Howard on the hoof.

Joe Smith said...



And the world was 'supposed to be' starting to run out of oil 15 years ago.

How's that working out?

MadisonMan said...

There's not enough water in the Ogalalla aquifer to keep up the factory farm cheap meat complex forever
I've been reading something like that for going on 30 years now. Maybe 40. (Time flies)
Here's the thing: Technology as far as water extraction and water use really does improve with time.

ALP said...

Ugh. No thanks. If meat becomes scarce due to expense or too damaging to the environment - I'd just switch to the old tofu and beans routine. Or I'd start eating insects. Not ready to accept something this highly engineered. I grew up in a vegetarian family, I've been a vegetarian. Just give me natural, non-meat food if I have to eat that way. The 'fake' shit like Tofurkey, etc. has never been an acceptable alternative to me. Hate that stuff.

South Park covered this. Eric Cartman is initially put off by the newest meat substitute when introduced to the school cafeteria. After all, he doesn't give a shit about anyone or healthy food. Once he learns it is made in factory - highly processed as he prefers his food - he comes around. "oh it's processed in a factory - why didn't you say so???"

jeremyabrams said...

I can't wait to eat meat that doesn't require an animal's death. This is also a kind of consummation of Jewish ethics.

Doug said...

The most significant advances in science at first appear to be miracles.
Our something like that.

Doug said...

So, should I sell my Soylent Green futures?

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

See the movie Antiviral which centers around the selling of celebrity viruses - viruses extracted from the bodies of movie stars. However, mentioned in passing is a celebrity meat market, Astral Bodies, where meat is grown from the cells of celebrities for consumption. I always thought that was sort of the "buried lede." There's a trailer at the IMDB page and you can see it mentioned in passing at about the 1:20 mark.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2099556/

I can seriously see someone scraping and cloning the tissue of celebrities in the future.