Kit That Allows You To Grow Your Own Human Steaks Isn’t ‘Technically’ Cannibalism, Makers Promise

The company behind the world’s first grow your own human steak kit has insisted that it doesn’t really count as cannibalism. Andrew Pelling, Orkan Telhan, and Grace Knight created the DIY kit, called Ouroboros Steak, that allows you to grow your own steaks from human cells as part of the Designs for Different Futures exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was recently nominated for “design of the year” at the Design Museum in London.

  1. No, you can’t actually buy this. First things first: the Ouroboros Steak DIY kit isn’t actually for sale. Instead, it’s a conceptual project that serves as a “critical commentary on the lab-grown meat industry and critiques the industry‚Äôs claims to sustainability.” In theory, it would come with everything you need to make your very own human steaks, which freaks a lot of people out.
  2. Wait, isn’t this… cannibalism? Not “technically,” say the creators. Yes, you would theoretically be eating human steaks, but not…really? “People think that eating oneself is cannibalism, which technically this is not,” Knight told Dezeen. Telhan explained further, “Our design is scientifically and economically feasible but also ironic in many ways. We are not promoting ‘eating ourselves’ as a realistic solution that will fix humans’ protein needs. We rather ask a question: what would be the sacrifices we need to make to be able to keep consuming meat at the pace that we are? In the future, who will be able to afford animal meat and who may have no other option than culturing meat from themselves?”
  3. We’re okay with eating animals… According to Knight, “Expired human blood is a waste material in the medical system and is cheaper and more sustainable than FBS, but culturally less-accepted.” The creators of Ouroboros Steak argue that no humans are harmed by the kit, but that’s not the case for lab-grown animal meat. “Fetal bovine serum costs significant amounts of money and the lives of animals,” Pelling said. “Although some lab-grown meat companies are claiming to have solved this problem, to our knowledge no independent, peer-reviewed, scientific studies have validated these claims. As the lab-grown meat industry is developing rapidly, it is important to develop designs that expose some of its underlying constraints in order to see beyond the hype.”
  4. Some of the miniature steaks are on display at the Design Museum. They’re preserved in resin and placed on a plate with silverware for a tongue-in-cheek touch. In theory, anyone who used the DIY kit would collect cells from the inside of their cheeks using a cotton swab and then place the cells onto a pre-grown scaffold created from mushroom mycelium. They’ll need to be kept in a warm environment for roughly three months and regularly fed with human serum until complete. Kinda cool if you think about it.
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