If you thought dining hall food was nasty (and to be honest, downright depressing) before, well the GO has some news for you. In an enlightening interview that the GO was able to land with a biology PhD student, we learned about a change to the university dining halls’ menu. She spoke about how her doctoral thesis, which is on the production and use of lab-grown meat, is finally coming to fruition. The kicker, without informing the student population, the dining hall began serving lab-grown meats at the start of the spring semester! The “meat” is manufactured out of the molecular and cellular biology building, and then travels via a pipeline network to each dining hall.
After the news about the lab-grown meat was released a few student dining hall employees came forward to express their disapproval of the deception. In interviews that the GO conducted, one of the employees described an experience they had while working with the meat products. “The beef is strangely adhesive. Once, at the beginning of the semester, I dropped a patty on the floor, and it is still there today!” This is not only disgusting, but also contributes to the mystique of the lab-grown meat.
Several other students on campus have also expressed their opinions on the radical change. Eric Czarneski, a vegan and animal rights activist, said, “I became a vegan because of the terrible conditions that most livestock are raised in. However, the introduction of lab-grown meats creates the possibility of a future in which animals are no longer harvested for human use. Us vegans are now faced with an ethical quandary.” Despite the initial gross factor, Eric and vegans like him are unsure if they can fully oppose the addition of lab-grown meats.
Not surprisingly, the dining hall staff is wholeheartedly supporting the change. The GO spoke with the Ikenberry Dining Hall manager, and she spoke at great length about the benefits this paradigm shift. The staff no longer has to worry about shipping in over 5,000 lbs of beef, pork, and chicken each week. They can now hire people with any range of dietary restrictions to work in the kitchen, and claim (however deceptively) that the dining hall is “meat free.” Additionally, this is the first large scale implementation of lab-grown meat for public consumption, and will therefore provide the scientists behind the creation much needed data. The dining halls, however, are not the only group of people backing the utilization of lab-grown meat. Jason, a self-identifying gym rat, said “We don’t care where it comes from, as long as it gives us a better protein to fat ratio we’ll eat it!”
Here at the GO we are still cautious to promote the consumption of lab-grown meat. For all the adventurous people out there, we recommend holding off until more is known about the effects of eating this meat. But if you must eat at dining hall, give it a try, it may pave the way towards a brighter future.