Scrambled Genes With Ham

Food and drink appears when summoned with the magic of Star Trek food replicators.

Soon this fiction may become fact. Meat may be the first food to get replicated out of practically nothing. No need for a farm anymore. Meat can be produced minus the bones and internal organs of an animal. A laboratory can grow animal stem cells to create a meat-like material. Even a bird feather can grow meat.

This may seem unnatural, but is it fair for animals to be raised and then slaughtered to please human appetites? Animal-rights activists may consider this a win.

Farms pollute with fertilizers, the animals produce greenhouse gases and water resources are consumed. So a win for climate change activists and environmentalists.

High animal fat diets aren’t doing Americans any favors for their girth. Doctors rejoice.

Genetic modification of this lab-created meat makes both the research and the production of it easier. So if it helps create and lowers costs, GMO it will be. How else can you create a chicken out of a feather without some serious tinkering? Protests in the future of the non-GMO crowd.

The meat lovers out there may cause a stink too. Even with the scientific advances of Star Trek, humans complained about replicated food and yearned for the real thing. (Yeah, it’s real to me, I dream of beaming down to a planet since it’s easier than that shuttle craft.)

And besides, growing only local, organic, pure, unmodified food is not a reality for feeding the huge human world population. You need modification, pollutants, water waste, methane, all the evils to keep humanity going.

The mighty Amazon may also feel some pain. That drone delivery can’t beat my replicator.

Another puzzling problem pops up: Cannibalism. In the future, will you not only be able to say, “What person would you most like to eat dinner with?” You may say, “What person would you like to taste?”

As usual, solutions create problems.

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