The Best Franken-steak in the World

The laboratory had never looked so posh. Dr. Andrews hurried around, setting the table with gleaming cutlery and crystal. Under his breath, he hummed—to the tune of “Macho Man”—“Nobel, Nobel Prize. I’m going to win a Nobel Prize.”

An hour later, he was seated at the table with scientists and politicians from around the country. Waiters hired for the night brought in the meals, each featuring a huge steak that almost filled the plate. The gasps of surprise changed to exclamations of pleasure as they began to eat.

“I don’t know what the presentation you have for us is, Dr. Andrews,” one of them said, “but it’s going to be hard-pressed not to be upstaged by these steaks.”

“I’m glad you said that,” Dr. Andrews said with a smile, “because the presentation is the steaks. You see, I grew them myself.”

“I didn’t know you kept cows.”

steaksynth

“I don’t. I grew this meat right here in the lab.” Dr. Andrews stood up and a screen lowered behind him. “I have discovered a technique for growing pure muscle tissue quickly in controlled conditions.”

There were murmurs of surprise and a few of disgust. He caught the term ‘frankenmeat’.

“Is it safe?” someone asked.

“It’s completely unaltered beef,” he said. “The genetic structure is exact. Plus, I can grow just the meat and not the fat or bones, so it is better quality, healthier, and less expensive.

“This product is superior in every way,” he continued quickly. “If we were to only eat this type of meat, there would be no need for unhygienic feed lots: did you know that the majority of all antibiotics in the United States are fed to cows? Animal rights activists would be happier, plus it would be better on the environment: cows produce a ton of methane and a lot of water and resources are used to grow corn to feed cows for beef. This meat is also much cheaper: imagine buying the steaks you just ate at the store for 50 cents a pound.”

One of the politicians spoke up. “It sounds almost perfect. The thing is, it was grown in a lab. Who exactly do you expect to eat this?”

meat lab

This is speculative fiction, but I’m curious: would you buy meat grown in a lab?

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About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

38 responses to “The Best Franken-steak in the World

  • poetfreak07

    Honestly, if there were no genetic mutations (specifically in my body from the meat). But some mutations might be acceptable. On the other hand, I would try it once to see if it resembled the taste of my good O’ fashioned T-bone stake.

  • cocacolafiend

    I know someone who is doing an essay on this right now. Researchers have already managed to produce a burger, and will probably refine their technique over time to make it cost effective. I would love to try lab grown meat.

    • David Stewart

      Honestly, I think I would try it. A lot of our food goes through pretty unsightly processes so I think I could get used to it.

      • cocacolafiend

        As someone studying Food Science, I guess I see food processing in a very different way. Some food processing is very clever and exciting. It’s actually disturbing how some consumers are so misled by companies trying to charge them over the odds for “natural products”

        It’s something like 3 in 5 mothers think that if something is labelled “natural” it’s a healthy snack for their child. Well, the bags of gummy worms sold by the Natural Confectionery Company contain more sugar gram for gram than black treacle. (This is what it said in the BBC article. When I did a presentation on this, I had to use jelly babies as the example instead, which still had massive labels on claiming how “natural” they were.)

        When it comes to climate change, our greatest problem will be food security. It already a HUGE problem for lots of people, and it is even becoming a problem in western societies. The rising cost of meat production is probably one of the factors that led to the horse meat scandal in Europe, and things will only get worse.

        But now I have typed out too much, haha. I could go on and on about this subject, but I won’t bore you.

        • David Stewart

          Thanks for the comments. 🙂 It’s too bad how people get tricked, such as by thinking that “natural” somehow means “healthy”. After all, mercury is natural and I don’t want that in my food.

  • Sharmishtha Basu

    honestly if it is certified as safe I may try it, after all it will mean eating meat without slaughtering an animal.

    loved the idea!

  • Alastair

    I think I would like to try it. I think I would like to see other people eat it first. Although, how can you guarantee it’s beef? Over here at the moment, we are having issues with horse meat in the meats. What’s to stop it being cloned from humans?

    • David Stewart

      There would have to be a lot of oversight, as always. This whole story is hypothetical, so we’re assuming that it’s possible to guarantee it’s really beef, horse or rat meat.

  • Eric Alagan

    What makes us think we are not already eating “grown” meat?

  • yarnspinnerr

    The day is not far off when all our foods will be grown in labs.

    Enjoyed the read specially the steak treat to all big wigs. 🙂

  • Catherine

    I’m not entirely sure… I’m torn between wanting to know my meat came “naturally” and the sheer awesomeness of having affordable quality meat with no risk to the animals. I think there’d be no more vegetarians!

  • Ritika Upadhyay

    Scientists are in a position to do funny things; it all depends on how the production of frankenmeat will be governed. It could very well swing out of situation, y’know.

  • Michelle Proulx

    Hey, if it tastes the same as normal meat and doesn’t have any weird health side effects, I would totally eat it. I’m all for saving the moo-cows.

  • MissFourEyes

    Sure why not? With all the stuff we eat now, from things that come mashed up in cans to microwavable dinners, that doesn’t seem so bad.

  • Joyce

    Ha Ha. I don’t think so. I would be afraid it would mutate into something else, something big, ugly and monstrous that might eat me. 🙂

    • David Stewart

      Sounds like another idea for a story. 🙂

      • Joyce

        And I know you could write that one, too. 🙂 Way back last year when I just started doing Friday Fictioneers stories I wrote one from a prompt of Madison Woods (when she had it) that showed a picture of a decaying grape vine that looked horrible. I had it growing and mutating into something that spread, invading town and everywhere, kind of like a bizarre science fiction story. It was certainly effective for the prompt.

  • chris13jkt

    I don’t think I’ll eat it if I know that it grow in a lab,

  • Sharmishtha

    I hope my comment from my latest blog is sleeping in your remarks to be approved!

  • Miles Rost

    If there’s no fat on it, it won’t taste good. Therefore, no.

    I GOTS TO HAVE MY SATURATED FAT!

  • Luddy's Lens

    Well, I’m late to the conversation here, but this vegetarian says, Yes, I would eat lab-grown meat (allowing for all the above-state caveats re: oversight, etc.). ‘Cause then it’s really just a crop, right?

    But I would agree with Miles Rost that you gotta keep the fat!

    • David Stewart

      I guess it all comes down to why a person is a vegetarian, but if it doesn’t harm any animals, that’s a big plus. I think with anything like that, it would have to be proven without a shadow of a doubt that it was safe (of course, naturally grown meat isn’t all that safe a lot of times, with bacteria and other things in it.)

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and criticisms.

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