Bacon of the Future

Yeast vat  When I was a kid I used to read a lot of science fiction.   Most of what our library had was anthologies of stories from the 1950’s.  A common theme of dystopian futures was the need to feed the overpopulated planet with mass-produced sustenance.  The Soylent Green method wasn’t popular, but huge vats of genetically modified yeast would crop up in story after story, much like flying cars in the Popular Science magazines of that era.  It would be called beef-o-plast or yeast-steak or something similar.  The common thread was that it was some kind of artificial (if nutritious) gunk that was an inferior substitute for the real thing.

Bacon on grill If you’re a fan of bacon, you know that there is no substitute.  Almost any vegetable (and most meat) is improved by the addition of bacon.  Sure, it’s full of fat (eek!) and couldn’t be good for your arteries (See City Slickers:  “The man ate bacon three times a day; you can’t DO that.”), but it's good for the soul.

Robo-pig The pig of the future may be leaner, with no trans-fat, but Robo-Pig will never be popular.  You will note that there is no bacon around the gears.  So what will the bacon of the future look like?

Tofu If these researchers get their way, it will apparently look a lot like this.  They are growing “pork” from pig stem cells.  So far they have produced (and I quote) only “spongy lab meat” which the researchers themselves are afraid to eat.  This doesn’t stop them from talking about the great potential here.  Why, you could engineer all sorts of healthy food like this.  And if it’s disgusting-looking, you can grind it up into sausage or something.  How well I remember the days when my wife loved to serve veggie-burgers made with “textured soy protein”.  To almost quote Crocodile Dundee, “You can live on it, but it tastes like _____.”

I’d rather have a flying car.

1 thoughts on “Bacon of the Future

  1. KateH says:

    Bacon sausage is an oxymoron of specialness. Sure, some sausage is good, a few kinds might even be great, but geez, except for undercooked, even mediocre bacon is still gonna win over sausage on my plate. Interestingly enough, you can’t make me eat pork roast in any form, for love or money.

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