Startup to make lab-grown meat from celebrity tissue; Twitter reacts with trending hashtag #EatCelebrityMeat

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2014 - 6:25pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
No, not dining with them, but having them for dinner! A company claims to offer lab-grown salami from celebrity tissues. PS BiteLabs claims to be already in talks with some Holly celebrities while James Franco and Jennifer Lawrence are on the wishlist.

Warning: Try #EatCelebrityMeat on Twitter, but not with a plate of food in front of you. The micro-blogging site is abuzz with tweets with the hashtag since an American-based start-up announced it plans to make lab-grown meat from celebrity tissue. And contrary to what many tweeples think, it’s not a joke. We got in touch with them, and, they say it’s all true. “BiteLabs is serious,” said Kevin from the team.

The lab wants to prompt widespread discussion about bioethics and lab-grown meats, and feel that celebrity meat would facilitate that discussion. Kevin explained, “For now, we only intend on using celebrity meat.

Each salami will have roughly 30 per cent celebrity meat and 40 per cent lab-grown animal meats. The rest will consist of fats and spices. This break-down comes from consultation with expert food designers and chefs.”

While BiteLabs claimed to be already in talks with some celebrities, their website features James Franco, Jennifer Lawrence, Kanye West and Ellen DeGeneres in a hypothetical ‘what-if’ wishlist. “But making celebrity meat a reality will all depend on our ability to generate public enthusiasm,” said Kevin. Oh yeah, they also asked us if we could direct any interested celebrities from India to them. Anybody for turning into a salami?

Any meat in the matter for us?

After Hrs asked Bollywood’s vegetarianism crusaders, and city’s food scene innovators what they think of lab grown meats, whether celebrity meat or not and the responses were varied.

Human samples? Not yet!
Nick Goklani, mock meat manufacturer
As a mock meat manufacturer here in India, we are still working towards familiarising vegetarians on soya-based products that are only a copy of taste and texture of meats, and completely vegetarian. And here we are talking of using human tissue samples!

Some actors deserve to be processed meat
Rahul Akerkar, restauranteur

If somebody is culturing a little bit of Brad Pitt in a lab, why it has to make an interesting sausage? People have been culturing tissue for stem cell research, but to make food products is absurd. Should certain actors be made into processed meat? I’d say, absolutely (laughs).

This news of laboratory grown celebrity meat sounds like it could be a joke. But the idea of genuine lab-grown meat is a step toward closing down slaughterhouses.
—Sonu Sood


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