Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft. Univ. of California, $27.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-52029-553-7
Historian Wurgaft (Thinking in Public: Strauss, Levinas, Arendt) expertly details the five years he spent, beginning in 2013, researching the emerging industry of producing meat from cultured tissues rather than from live animals. After observing the world’s first laboratory-created hamburger, developed in 2013 by a Dutch scientist, he undertakes a worldwide investigation into the future of artificial meat. Wurgaft becomes “a kind of anthropological field worker,” visiting and interviewing scientists and businesspeople in start-ups in New York, California, and Israel. Throughout, he uses cultured meat as a lens into how technology changes the world. Wurgaft describes how the various planned technologies will work (“a vision of cultured animal products being produced not through slaughter and butchery, but in sterile, sleek facilities that look a bit like breweries”), the roadblocks to its production, and ethical questions “about the implications cultured meat may hold for our moral regard for animals.” Wurgaft’s investigation into cellular-grown meat’s various industrial and cultural issues should stand as an essential introduction to the subject. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/17/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-0-520-96826-4
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