This company wants to make in-vitro meat from celebrities’ stem cells

They swear they’re “100% serious"

Topics: Fake meat, celebrities, Startups, meat industry, , ,

The strange world of fake meat just got a lot stranger. A new “start-up” calling itself Bite Labs has popped up on the Internet, promising to bring us the future of meat. And in its vision, the future of meat is salami cloned from celebrities.

“Today, In-Vitro meat production is close to becoming a reality,” the website proclaims, “offering highly controllable meat production without the animal cruelty, waste, and environmental impacts of industrial farming.” This is true — in fact, the world tasted its first synthetic burger, grown from cow stem cells, last summer. As a sustainable alternative to our current meat system, it’s got a lot of potential.

But, Bite Labs goes on, “this process can offer so much more than replicas of beef and pork.” For instance, salami grown from Jennifer Lawrence:

The JLaw salami will be complemented by a mixture of rabbit and pork. A charming and confident flavor profile, the JLaw salami is coarse ground in a rustic style, smoothed with notes of honey, and spiced with orange zest and ginger. Always surprising, this salami will never fail to entertain.

Other varities — James Franco (“smoky, sexy, and smooth”), Kanye West (“heavy, and boldly flavored”) and Ellen DeGeneres (an ostrich blend that’s “highly approachable and well-rounded flavor”) – are also on the menu.

The idea is definitely satirical: Motherboard posits that the people behind Bite Labs might be an activist group like PETA, a very ambitious prankster, or even a real synthetic meat lab that’s just trying to get publicity. But they’re definitely committed to the bit.

Motherboard got in touch with the company’s mysterious representative, known only as “Kevin,” who they describe as someone “who’d internalized Silicon Valley’s vernacular, but didn’t overtly appear to be mocking it.” While Bite Labs has yet to produce celebrity meat, Kevin told them, they’re “100 percent serious in prompting widespread discussion about bioethics, lab-grown meats, and celebrity culture—this is very important to us.” He explained:



Our team is deeply interested in food-culture, celebrity & media as well as thinking about the future. Other than highlighting bioethical issues, we are also interested in the way celebrity culture is consumed and hope that there is some kind of back-handed commentary on that.  To develop Celebrity Meat, we’re working with a group of bio-engineers and food designers, most of which have requested to remain anonymous due to the controversial nature of the product.

As for our current campaign, we are hoping to generate celebrity interest and involvement so that we can develop a prototype with celebrity meat. In-vitro meat has the potential to revolutionize the meat industry, with both environmental, animal rights, and eventually economic benefits. We hope that our campaigning efforts will confront people with the very real possibility of a lab-grown meat future.

Right now, they’re getting attention by harassing celebrities on Twitter, asking them if they’ll be salami. In the future, who knows?

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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