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Sunday 26 October  

Earth Beat - Let them eat meat!

On air: 26 November 2010 2:00 (Photo: Clipart)

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This week on Earth Beat: we look at meat alternatives, from lab-grown meat to meatless, but not tasteless substitutes. Where exactly do a pig’s parts go, and can we raise them so they’re happy? Plus, what if you decide to kill your own?

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UPDATE - Due to a great response, we are now offering a runner-up prize of a hand-made book (your choice of a notebook or agenda) lovingly crafted by Earth Beat producer Anik See! Same rules as above, just tell us why you want a book.
 

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Man-made meat
Traditional meat production has a big carbon footprint. Add up the feeding, housing, and transportation of cows, pigs, and sheep and those trays of meat in the supermarket start looking like a really inefficient way of feeding the planet. So where are we in terms of growing meat in a lab? Marnie visited Professor Mark Post, a bio-engineer at the Tissue Lab at the Eindhoven University of Technology to find out.

Russian taste-test
By the way, we were so curious to find out what the lab-grown meat tasted like that we decided to track down Pavel Lobkov, the Russian journalist who ate our sample.

Envirominute
The carbon footprint of a cheeseburger, in 60 seconds.

What’s in a burger?
Many of us have a sneaking suspicion that most hamburgers aren’t exactly grade A meat. But for one high school student in Cleveland, Ohio, a sneaking suspicion wasn’t good enough. Brigid Prayson teamed up with her doctor dad to analyse exactly what’s in fast food burgers.

Vegetarian butcher?
Meat-substitutes in the supermarket are just a bit… depressing. Small squares of sponginess that taste exactly as they look. So when we heard about a new product - based on beans from a rather pretty lupine flower - being promoted by a Dutchmen who styles himself the vegetarian butcher, we had to meet him. Marnie went to taste test Jaap Korteweg’s wares, and she took producer Jan Huisman along to help translate.

It’s all about taste
Jaap Korteweg is not alone in his venture. He’s teamed up with top Dutch Chef Marco Westermaas, who’s constantly on the hunt for new flavours for his restaurant. Marnie asked whether it was really true that you can’t tell the difference between their lupine meat and the real stuff.

Where a pig’s parts go
Pigs have been a long time source of fascination for Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma. She was curious to find out what happens to a pig’s remains after the slaughterhouse, so she followed the journey of Pig number 05049 and was astounded by the number of unexpected places it ended up. Watch Christien give a slide show about the book. Video: Christien leafs through her PIG 05049 book.

Pigs' play pen
In the Netherlands there are some 16 million pigs. For most, life is cramped, short and not very sweet. But there are efforts being made to improve their quality of life and offer them something better. Dutch pig farmer Maarten Rooijakkers has opened a new kind of sty in the southern province of Brabant, and it's full of toys. Thijs Westerbeek reports.

Holly... hunter
Some people might be tempted to take this concept to the next level and try to kill their own food. We tracked down and spoke to such a hunter – Holly Heyser.

Click on image for slideshow

  • Professor Mark Post from the Tissue Lab at Eindhoven University of Technology<br>&copy; Photo: Mark Post  - http://www.mate.tue.nl/mate/showemp.php/1618
  • A sample of meat tissue grown at Eindhoven University of Technology<br>&copy; Photo: Mark Post - http://www.mate.tue.nl/mate/showemp.php/1618
  • Dr. Richard Prayson<br>&copy; Photo: Cleveland Clinic - http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?doctorid=706
  • Highly magnified cross sections of the hamburgers in the Prayson experiment<br>&copy; Photo: Prayson family - http://www.tissuepathology.typepad.com/files/prayson_anndiagpath_dec2008.pdf
  • Meatless dish based on lupine beans and served by the &quot;Vegetarian Butcher&quot;.<br>&copy; Photo:  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Hunting her own food - Holly Heyser <br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Holly Heyser (right) and friend in action<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english

Discussion

larry 7 December 2010 - 6:50am

Here is a good video on meat: http://meat.org

ethix view 26 November 2010 - 12:33am / Canada

The justifications that humans invent to defend the indefensible never cease to amaze me. To speak of "respect" (Holly Heyser), while killing a nonhuman animal for our tasting pleasure, is profoundly offensive. Creating nice environments (Maarten Rooijakkers) in which to continue to exploit pigs and other nonhumans does not make their exploitation any more ethical. The ugly truth is that there is no such thing as "happy meat". Using nonhuman animals for our pleasure is indefensible, no matter how well treat them on their way to the slaughterhouse.

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