Weird Science: Meat Cubes

Hi World:

Remember when you were a kid and you first heard Green Eggs and Ham? Maybe, like me, you thought to yourself,  “I don’t care if my parents make me sit at the table for a year, there’s no way I’ll ever eat green eggs!”

Well, move over green eggs, and make room for meat cubes.  You heard me.  As in a cube shaped object purported to be meat.  And that’s not even the worst thing.

The worst thing is that the meat cubes are not real meat.  Well, duh, right?  Meat doesn’t usually arrive cube-shaped..

Meat cubes are grown from a sample of animal cells using an “animal free growth serum”.  Then the cells are printed onto sheets that are layered to create cubes, which are then  ground up with flavors and added nutrients and formed into meat….things….

Arrggghhh it’s alive……..IT’S ALIVE….

They call this  product “cultured meat” or “lab-grown” meat.  Makes you want pull a chair up to the table, doesn’t it?

“Yeah,  hi…..Tell you what,  gimme a slab ‘a that lab grown meat?  Steak flavored? With a loaded baked tater and a side ‘a green beans. And the little lady here’ll have the same thing, only with the chicken flavored meat. Now them green beans-they  locally grown?”

To be fair, this technology prevents the slaughter of animals, uses far less energy than standard farming, and emits fewer greenhouse gases.

FDA, if you are listening, the Chicken family has a few questions we’d like answered before we buy in:

  • Are you testing meat cubes on animals?
  • Can I buy organic, grain fed meat cubes at Whole Foods and grind them into fun meat shapes?
  • Do meat cubes hold up well in crock pots?
  • What would a tenderloin roast meat cube cost me?
  • Are meat cubes anything like Willy Wonka’s special gum?
  • Where can I buy meat cubes in bulk?
  • Does John Stamos eat meat cubes?
  • Will you be providing a pamphlet of meat cube recipes incorporating cream of mushroom soup?
  • Can I buy a kit at the Hobby Shop and produce my own meat cubes?
  • If I can buy a kit, will I need a dark room?
  • If I do grow meat cubes in my dark room, can I open the darkroom door and shout, “It grows the meat.  It grows the meat or it gets the hose again.”?  Or would that be considered cruelty to animals?
  • Are these meat cubes American made?
  • Will Ikea sell Swedish Meatcubes?
  • Is it possible to roll the meat cubes out into long strips resembling bacon or is that meat cube 2.0?
  • Can you make a meat dress out of meat cubes?
  • What wines pair well with meat cubes?
I read about meat cubes in a vegetarian magazine. The diagrams were particularly enlightening.  I see what you did there, vegetarians.  Well played.
green eggs and ham

What green eggs and ham might look like in the future

Chicken out

  26 comments for “Weird Science: Meat Cubes

  1. Anonymous
    August 21, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Hmmmm….are they “meat cubes” or are they…SOYLENT GREEN!?!?!?



  2. August 21, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Ooh well done CB. I had to look that one up. Talk about life imitating art!


  3. August 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Oh Yummy – I'm thinking Thanksgiving… wanna come over?


  4. August 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Syd, I think I would rather eat Tofurky than lab grown. turkey. can we serve both? With some soylent green? I would love to spend Thanksgiving with you!


  5. October 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Chicken's Consigliere and commented:

    Repost from August 2013. It’s weird science Thursday. At least it is now. On this blog.


  6. ganymeder
    October 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Honestly, I don’t see how this is any grosser than eating cooked flesh, but then again I’m biased. 🙂

    At least, as long as it’s safe for consumption, it would have the virtue of (I’m assuming) using less resources and not harming animals. If it’s lab-grown flesh though, I’m confused as to why it would need to be flavored like chicken or cow or whatever.

    For the record, the “wheat-meats” and “soy-meats” are just fine. Granted, if you aren’t used to them, the texture is slightly different and they aren’t as oily, but you mostly taste what you put on them anyway. Who eats a hamburger with nothing on it? You taste the bun, sauce, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, etc. The faux-meats exist as a way to transition or to have veg versions of traditionally meat-based dishes. Personally, for Thanksgiving I usually get a field roast and just make veg brown gravy, but I just fill up on all the side dishes anyway. I love roased beets and cornbread stuffing. 🙂


    • October 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Hi Ganymeder,
      I guess it is all what you are used to. Are you vegan or vegetarian? Have you always been or did you switch at some point? I live with three guys. All they want is meat. I get tired of making it, particularly when I think of it from the flesh angle!


      • ganymeder
        October 17, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        I grew up on meat and potatoes and switched when I was 27 years old. 🙂


      • October 18, 2014 at 4:23 am

        So that was five years in the future? Seriously, you do not look even 27!


  7. Doug in Oakland
    October 17, 2014 at 3:08 am

    What’s wrong with your drink? Those aren’t ice cubes, those are meat cubes! Oh God, what did I put in the Stroganoff?
    I would probably try some. The list of foods that I have refused to eat is rather short: snake, snails, bovine testicles and tongue, and a couple of varieties of goat cheese so far. The current practice of factory farming livestock does need to change, but I’m not sure meat cubes will be what does it. I could be wrong. Things change. If you described a modern feed-lot to a rancher from 100 years ago, I doubt he’d believe you, and if he did there might be gunfire…


    • October 17, 2014 at 10:12 am

      meat cubes might be okay in a Bloody Mary. That might be the only place. Hey, Doug, have you ever watched that Ted Talk given by the woman who redesigned slaughterhouses to be more humane for the animals? I wish I could remember her name, but I can’t. However, you might like it if you know about these things. What’s wrong with goat cheese?


      • Doug in Oakland
        October 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        I think they’d probably work in chili, stew, or spaghetti sauce unless they were really terrible. My friend Briana says that the TED talk you are referring to is by Temple Grandin, who is autistic and brilliant. I can’t watch video on this machine, but I will try to watch it when I visit my friend for a few days after Sunday. And not all goat cheese, just a couple of varieties of it that I had to use when I was a line cook that smelled so bad that I wouldn’t even taste them and had to get my manager to taste the pasta I made with them to see if I was doing it right.


      • October 18, 2014 at 4:25 am

        Yes, that was her and she’s fascinating. You and I have something in common-I was a banquet cook once. I liked that job. Except on holidays.


  8. jenny_o
    October 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Honestly? I would try this. I hate the inhumane way the animals can be – and often are – treated. The soy “fake” meats taste strange to me, and legumes play havoc with my digestive issues. Also I live with a male who prefers meat (make that two males until recently) (our son, just to clarify!) So I actually look forward to this getting into the marketplace. But I love your questions! Nothing’s getting past you without a good hard look, is it? 🙂


    • ganymeder
      October 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Yeah, they taste strange when you aren’t used to them, but as long as its a question of strangeness (unfamiliarity) rather than simply disliking the taste, that’s not a big deal. I remember when I gave up dairy, I wanted to train myself to like soymilk, but I ADORED chocolate milk. So every night for a couple weeks or so I would drink a glass of chocolate milk with a little soymilk added until I got used to the taste, then I’d change the proportion of soymilk to dairy until I got used to that. Afterwards, dairy tasted strange to me, thick and oily.

      Also, we largely taste condiments, gravy, etc. that we use on meat products, so you can take advantage of that. It honestly doesn’t take long to get used to a new flavor, a few weeks to a month (if I remember correctly) to train your palate. After that, you really don’t crave old foods as much. I had a friend who used the veggie burger-crumbles for stews and speghetti sauce; she wasn’t veg, but she liked them because they took less time to cook and in those foods you didn’t really notice any difference.

      Also, there are plenty of ways to simply skip the meat. Veg burrito instead of beef, make soup with veg broth instead of chicken broth, etc. Use beans for burgers, loafs, and stews. Move veg side-dishes to more of a main course role, etc. It seems intimidating, but if you want to reduce the amount of meat you consume, you can. If you don’t want to eliminate your meat consumption, you can just reduce it. It’s not as hard as it seems. 🙂

      Sorry for the longer post, it’s just I’ve got a lot of background knowledge in this particular area. 🙂


      • jenny_o
        October 17, 2014 at 11:33 pm

        Thanks – I appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • October 18, 2014 at 4:32 am

        Gannymede, you can leave any comment as long as you want, are you kidding? It’s great. I don’t like soy, either, but I can drink almond milk okay. Do you like that? My palate needs to be trained to stop liking wine and oreos. It’s a tragedy. I could give up animal products tomorrow, I think (she said brazenly), but I think sugar will always be my dietary demon.


    • October 18, 2014 at 4:28 am

      Hi Jenny-I wrote this blog over a year ago based on something I read in Vegetarian Times, so maybe it is on the market. I don’t know because I suspect it is not something I’ll eat, or maybe I’m just a late adopter, I mean, who am I kidding, I just got an i-phone, right? But maybe your local health food store?


  9. October 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    So this stuff is printed onto sheets and stacked…seems they could skip the stacking and just sell it in stationary stores. Advertisers could publish free samples in magazines. I like this idea!


    • October 18, 2014 at 4:36 am

      Hi Geo-like scratch and sniff or like read and eat? 3D meat product Greeting cards would be great because you know how we send a greeting card but not a gift because it’s not that kind of relationship, but still, you wish there was that in between thing to express your better than a greeting card feelings? Well, with this kind of a product, you could send a letter and then the letter could be barbecued and served on a roll.


  10. October 20, 2014 at 1:47 am

    In answer to your last question: A ’71 Burgandy, perhaps a Bonne Mare. I’d quaff the wine and poke the meat cubes around with a fork.
    I find food fascinating, and I’ve rarely had anything that I wouldn’t try at least once again. Well, maybe not a balut, the egg that’s been buried for some time. But I’ve eaten all over the world, and when possible had something I’d never tried, or heard of. The food that interests me is new stuff, out of the ordinary.


    • October 20, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Ack. Burgundy, not what I wrote above.


    • October 20, 2014 at 2:40 am

      So are you an Anthony Bourdain fan, then? He would eat the egg, too, in fact, his book may just be where I heard about that egg.


      • October 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm

        Kind of. I really like the couple mystery/fiction/cooking books he did back a couple decades ago. I’ve learned not to watch his tv shows before I cook dinner, though.


      • October 20, 2014 at 3:25 pm

        Forgot the egg. No, I actually have tried one; when we were on our honeymoon in ’68 near Manila Cary’s sister stocked the beach house we were at, and put a half dozen of them in the fridge. They look just like regular eggs until you crack the shell…….godawful smell.


      • October 21, 2014 at 1:21 am

        I don’t think I read those….I read Kitchen Confidential and loved it, and the one after that about traveling and eating, which wasn’t my favorite, but no mystery/fiction/cooking books. How come you don’t watch his shows before you cook, though? Too gross? Around the time of his first book, I worked for a pretty well known culinary school, helping students find places to do internships. They would go out and do their internship and then write a paper about the experience. I had this one students who wrote his whole paper in Anthony Bourdain’s literary “voice”. It was cute. Imitation being the nicest form of flattery and all that.


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