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Mynnion
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My daughter shared an argument some of her Jewish friends were having the other day and I decided to pass it on. It was based on this weeks stem cell grown burger.

CNN Reports

I think we all know that we will be eating at least some degree of artificially grown meats in the future. Cost and resources will dictate it.

The question they were asking was is this Kosher (my daughter has many Jewish friends)? How well will religious communities with strict dietary guidelines respond. Will this lead to schisms , chaos, anarchy?

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Seriati
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It won't be Kosher, why would you think it would be?
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Mynnion
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Most of her friends felt it would be since it's origin was beef.
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vegimo
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One point of view is that it would be.
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Mynnion
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Interesting that the picture in your link showed a cheese burger muddying the water further.
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vegimo
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Yes, they even discuss the possibility of Kosher bacon!
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by vegimo:
Yes, they even discuss the possibility of Kosher bacon!

http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/2668/if-a-pig-was-genetically-modified-to-chew-its-cud-would-it-be-kosher
quote:
If the genetically-engineered pig was gestated in a normal pig, then no it would not be kosher.

Rambam, Laws of Prohibited Foods, 1:5--6 (or 4--5 depending on your edition):

א,ה [ד] בהמה טהורה שילדה כמין בהמה טמאה--אף על פי שאינו מפריס פרסה, ולא מעלה גרה, אלא כמין סוס או חמור לכל דבר--הרי זה מותר באכילה. במה דברים אמורים, בשילדה בפניו. ...

א,ו [ה] בהמה טמאה שילדה כמין בהמה טהורה--אף על פי שהוא מפריס פרסה, ומעלה גרה, והרי הוא כמין שור לכל דבר, או כמין שה--הרי זה אסור באכילה:

If it is absolutely certain that a kosher animal gave birth to something that looks like a non-kosher animal, even if it doesn't have split hooves or chew its cud, and it looks completely like a horse or donkey -- it is kosher ... A non-kosher animal that gave birth to something kosher-looking, though it may have split hooves, chew its cud, and look just like a cow or sheep, is not kosher.

I'd assume we don't distinguish between the piglet that was born with a random mutation to chew its cud, and one genetically engineered to do so.

To quote Rabbi J. David Bleich ("The Problem of Identity in Rashi, Rambam, and the Tosafists", Tradition 41:2):

The notion of identification as a member of a species is best summed up in a pithy comment attributed to R. Chaim Soloveitchik. It is reported that R. Chaim queried: Why is a horse a horse? Is it a horse because it is a horse or is it a horse because its mother was a horse? To rephrase the question: Is a horse a horse because it manifests the characteristics that are the necessary conditions for identification as a member of the equine species or is a horse a horse because its mother was a horse? R. Chaim proceeded to declare that a horse is a horse solely because its mother was a horse and explained that ancestral identity is the sole factor that determines membership in a particular species. Thus, as spelled out by the Mishnah, Bekhorot 5b, identity as a member of a clean or unclean species is determined by birth and not by distinguishing physical characteristics.

Even more fascinating:
quote:
As a related question, I asked Rabbi Welcher in Queens about goats that were given genes from a spider so their milk contained gossamer, is the goat still kosher? He said that products of cross-breeding (even if doing so is prohibited) remain kosher, and as the non-kosher genes need the kosher genes to produce an organism here ("zeh v'zeh gorem"), it's allowed.
Personally, I'd be more concerned if the genetically modified goat with the spider genes was actually safe for human consumption. But then, I'm not Jewish. [Smile]
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Mynnion
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In addition to the religious dietary restrictions will the vegans who avoid meat and dairy for animal concerns now eat these?

Hindus-Beef or any meat. Arabs-Pork.

I had never thought about all of the interesting social ramifications of test tube food.

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scifibum
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Vegans often seem to believe that meat is bad for you, so some of them would still abstain. But if it's grown in a vat and has no nervous system, then I don't expect they'd have the same ethical objections.

Another but: vegan meat substitutes have reached a really high level of quality in recent years, so I don't know that there will be much temptation there. There are a couple of vegan freezer products that I happily choose over a meat-based equivalent.

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Pete at Home
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Most vegans I know are most concerned about *consent*. It's OK to breastfeed, since mom consents. Not OK to milk a cow, since it can't consent. Maybe cows can be genetically manipulated to consent? [Wink]
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OpsanusTau
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I wonder if vegans who claim "consent" to be an issue know about robotic milking systems, in which cows choose how many times to be milked per day (most choose two, but the numbers go from 1 to somewhere in the teens).

I suppose the whole system is deemed to be non-consensual....

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LetterRip
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OpsanusTau,

very cool, I'm not a vegan but wasn't aware of that system.

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Pete at Home
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That is cool, OT. Thanks for the heads up. I will inform my Vegan brother
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Mynnion
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The cows certainly consent. They have significant pain otherwise. OTOH Like Ops said it is he system that is likely the issue to most Vegans.
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Pete at Home
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Well, we could genetically engineer cows to get off on being milked. [Big Grin] That way it's pleasure motivation, rather than pain. The farms can answer the PETA videos with films of cows bucking and mooing in ecstasy. Think the vegan conscience will get off on orgasmic cheese?

There's already a French cheese brand called "vache qui rit" -- trans "laughing cow." Branding might go along those lines ... "Vache Jouissante?"

[ August 10, 2013, 09:38 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Adam Masterman
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Are you forgetting the Amiglion Major Cow from Milliways? This problem has already been solved (will already have been solved? time travel tenses are so confusing [Wink] ).
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Mynnion
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Seems like even the most educated of Jewish scholars can't agree.

JPOST

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
Are you forgetting the Amiglion Major Cow from Milliways? This problem has already been solved (will already have been solved? time travel tenses are so confusing [Wink] ).

Googles. Ah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dish_of_the_Day_ (cow)#Dish_of_the_Day

Damn. Guess I have a lot more Douglas Adams to read. Truth be told, my only exposure was the original BBC Radio Show back when I was in a British High School, plus the wonderful more recent movie.

[ August 11, 2013, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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starLisa
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I think it's a moot point for the time being, because any such "cultured meat" will be nothing like any edible meat. But Jewish law doesn't actually deal with anything too small to be seen by the naked eye. So cells are kind of irrelevant. Once something like this is made, it wouldn't seem to be coming from an animal at all, and would probably have the status of a fungus, more or less.
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LetterRip
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starLisa,

quote:
I think it's a moot point for the time being, because any such "cultured meat" will be nothing like any edible meat.
In what way do you mean? Taste and texturewise should be far easier accomplishments that the technical achievement of making it economical.
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TomDavidson
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Well, that's the thing. The most economical you try to be, the harder it will be to cheaply achieve a decent taste and texture -- since you're going to be looking at multiple cultures and probably multiple growth cycles, since the activity of muscle helps determine its final texture.
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scifibum
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Clearly we need to solve an additional problem at the same time: set cultured muscles to work, producing mechanical energy for escalators and ventilation. They can be contained in big hermetic piston chambers which will also serve as braising vessels.

[Razz]

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LetterRip
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Exercising them is likely trivial via mild electrical stimulation, you can tune them for exactly how tender or tough you want them to be.
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D.W.
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I'm quickly becoming more disturbed by visions of what such a production facility would look like compared even to the most unsavory visions of slaughter house for live animals.
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Pete at Home
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Since we're talking about lean muscle without fat cells, why not use heart cells? That would take care of the exercizing part

[ August 12, 2013, 06:52 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
starLisa,

quote:
I think it's a moot point for the time being, because any such "cultured meat" will be nothing like any edible meat.
In what way do you mean? Taste and texturewise should be far easier accomplishments that the technical achievement of making it economical.
Get back to me when that happens.
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Mynnion
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You would have to culture fat tissue with the lean muscle tissue (percents could be readily controlled) for burgers etc. One hundred percent lean meat would tend to lack taste and would stick to the grill.

I imagine an industry that offers all sorts of specialty meats using a mixed tissue base to provide exotic tastes. I will be surprised if the "Micro Meateries" don't become as common as Micro Breweries.

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