Yum or yuck? Test tube bacon from stem cells

test-tube-baconWait…test tube bacon?

Coming soonish to a BLT or breakfast near you?

An article in Nature’s Scientific Reports tells us that scientists have taking some first baby steps toward bacon or at least a meaty bacon-like product from stem cells.

Would you eat test tube bacon? Take our poll below.

One of the possible positives of test tube bacon is that it would give people meat to eat without killing pigs. Could be better for the environment too. Possible downsides include taste or sensibility issues…maybe even safety depending on the lab conditions.

The article, entitled “Enhanced Development of Skeletal Myotubes from Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells” has gotten considerable media attention (e.g. here).

The authors do seem to have food on their minds as it pertains to the outcomes from their paper such as in this concluding statement:

Thus, the molecular control mechanisms directing porcine skeletal muscle development have considerable implications for medicine, agriculture and food technology.

In a nutshell, the researchers used pig IPS cells to make myotubes, the main structural component of muscle, in a dish. Enough of these myotubes and you’ve got something resembling meat.

What’s missing?

How about the fat component that is so important to bacon’s texture and flavor? Note that I’m a pescetarian myself, but used to enjoy bacon now and then.

The notion of lab grown meat such as test tube burgers has been around for a few years now and I did a post on some hype about the lab grown burgers a few years back.

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