Scientists Create the Best Steak Alternative Grown from… Human Cells

The new Human meat meal kit is “technically” not cannibalism

Image: Ouroboros Steak/Design Museum

Scientists in the US just came up with what some may call the ‘best steak’, as it does not involve any harm to animals. Rather, this new type of steak comes from human cells.


According to scientists, eating such a steak would not technically be ‘cannibalism’. 

Known as the Ouroboros Steak (named after the ancient Egyptian snake that eats itself), this DIY meal kit is designed by Grace Knight, Andrew Pelling, and Orkhan Telhan.


The Ouroboros Steak starter kit comes with instructions, ingredients, and all the tools that you need to turn your cells into ‘mini steaks.’

Currently, the Ouroboros Steak kit is more of a prototype. It is on display in the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition at the London Design Museum.


Right now, the lab-grown meat industry claims to reduce animal cruelty by providing a more sustainable option. However, the process of growing lab-meat still requires FBS (fetal bovine serum) that comes from calf fetuses.

These fetuses are typically obtained after the slaughtering of their mothers. So, such meat is also a by-product of animal cruelty. So, lab-grown meat is not necessarily the best aternative. However, the Ouroboros Steak kit is quite different.


The process of growing a ‘mini steak’ using this kit is quite simple. All it requires is some cells collected from inside the human cheek depositing them onto mushroom mycelium scaffolds and are then stored in a warm environment for three months, while being fed and nurtured with human serum until fully grown mini steaks.

Of course, you could vary the quantity of these Ouroboros mini steaks depending on how much protein your body needs.


Ouroboros Steak: The best steak alternative?



In this regard, Andrew Pelling, a co-scientist in the Ouroboros Steak project said to Dezeen, “Fetal bovine serum costs significant amounts of money and the lives of animals. 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.” Pelling added.


Grace Knight, who also helped design the Ouroboros Steak, said: “Expired human blood is a waste material in the medical system and is cheaper and more sustainable than FBS, but culturally less-accepted.

People think that eating oneself is cannibalism, which technically this is not.”

Orkan Telhan also added: “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?”


So, would you try the Ouroboros Steak after it hits the market? Whether you would call it the best steak or not, the prototype seems to offer a great solution to animal cruelty in the meat industry.


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