BiteLabs has a modest proposal. Industrial farming is unsustainable, so why don't we grow meat in labs? And if we're growing meat in labs, why not make it the meat of celebrities? You know what, I don't see any reason why not.
Okay, so my first reaction to the BiteLabs site is that it's way too slick and twitter-centric to be a real company. If they are, I just wanted to volunteer for Snacktaku: Celebrity Salami Edition. I'm not sure about our resident expert's feelings on eating lab-grown human meat, but we at Kotaku have a commitment to keeping you up to date on the world of weird foods.
We aren't sure exactly who is running the site, but based on their copy, it seems like the idea is to raise awareness about the unsustainable practices of raising livestock on factory farms.
Celebrity meat production requires less than 1% of the amount of land needed for traditional farming. Currently, 70% of the world's farmland (almost 30% of the entire earth's surface) is used for raising animals. Meat production today is simply unsustainable: unless a radical change is made, the price of meat will eventually rise out of control. Lab grown meats are the future.
I emailed BiteLabs and they confirmed they're trying to raise awareness and also build "a sustainable meat future." The more important question is if a celebrity was actually interested, do they get royalties on the salami?
If a celebrity supports the idea, we will negotiate the deal with them personally depending on what they want out of it.
We're still not sure if they're doing this on their own, associated with a group like HSUS or if they actually can grow meat. Another possibility would be that they're a real company producing lab-grown meat and this is just a great viral marketing tactic. After all, what better way would there be to raise awareness for your company than having meat made from America's sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence? Well, possibly Kanye West salami.
When I asked if they could prove they're really working on growing meat (even of the non-celebrity-based variety), they said the following:
This is a sincere and serious attempt to raise awareness about a lab-grown meat future. Our team is a group of people who are deeply interested in food-culture, celebrity media and consumption as well as thinking about the future. We really hope that BiteLabs can spread awareness about these subjects.
Sounds fake to me, unfortunately. But on the slim chance it's a real product, I stand by volunteering to do Snacktaku: Nolan North
So I've got two questions for you. Who do you think is behind this? And what celebrity salami would inspire you to try human meat?