In 2002 scientists at Touro College in the US removed some muscle from the abdomen of an anaesthetised goldfish and placed it in a saline solution enriched with foetal calf serum.
The muscle reportedly grew by 15 per cent in a few weeks. It was then coated in breadcrumbs and lightly sautéed in olive oil: scientists said that the resulting dish “smelled good”.
Is there any need for this? Quorn is pretty much vat-grown meat, being mainly protein and not too hideous to eat. Let’s pass over Soylent Green rapidly, as it would be a tremendously inefficient way of reclaiming flesh – much better to use our flesh as the material for other things to grow on and feed many than render it down into burgers and feed only a few.
That said, I quite like the idea, if only from a “The Future Is Here” feeling. I like the idea that these scientists, perceived by the public as severe white-coated types replete with clipboards and furrowed brows, are sitting there mixing foetal calf (veal) with lean goldfish flesh to create the perfect white meat, which they then make into the ultimate Wiener Schnitzel. Balls they didn’t eat it – anyone who goes to the trouble of breadcrumbing and sauteeing it is going to squeeze a little lemon over it and ask “Dr Moriarty, will you be having tartare or horseradish with yours?”
(Good quote from Churchill at the end)
Winston Churchill, a carnivore to the core, saw the future of meat back in 1936. “Fifty years hence,” he wrote, “we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”