Commentary: Please don’t cut me off a slice of that James Franco

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As I hit my one month anniversary of living in Kansas City, I don’t think I come anywhere close to fitting the typical stereotype of women in her early 20’s living here.

My favorite heels are stacked with a spur ridge, drink of choice is scotch on the rocks, casual dress Friday’s entail wildrags. I order my steak rare and the only sticker on my car is of the quarter-circle rocking M brand.

With that being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I couldn’t give a darn about anything relating to celebrity pop culture. Unless Sam Elliott shaves off his mustache or Justin Bieber gets deported, I don’t care.

That is until I stumbled across a web site for a company called Bite Labs. This Silicon Valley revolution food company is dreaming of taking petri dish meat to a whole new level – celebrity meats.

Celebrity meats, as in gourmet salami with James Franco’s DNA in it. This can’t be true, can it?

Here’s the breakdown of the business plan: Collect human stem cells from a public figure, plant them in a laboratory garden of science and bioreactors, add the grown product to a blend of animal sweet meats and seasonings, and voila – the public goes wild and the food industry is changed forever.

There are feed-yards in Texas that smell better than this scheme, so I contacted the company.

Surprisingly, someone only identifying themselves as Kevin from Bite Labs responded back fairly quickly and said he would only communicate by email. He then explained that majority of people working on the project have requested to stay anonymous due to the controversial nature of the product.

And before we get any further, I want to point out that Kevin had answers for all of my questions except on how they were going to get FDA approved. But that’s just a minor detail.  

According to Kevin, Bite Labs is focusing heavily on collecting market interest to find celebrities willing to be turned into an appetizer.

“Our current campaign is to generate celebrity interest and involvement so that we can develop a prototype with celebrity meat,” Kevin said. “While our current efforts are proceeding headlong towards a lab prototype, it will be some time before this product enters the market.”

And work to create public awareness they have. On their web site, Bite Labs has a complete social media campaign encouraging the average Joe to Tweet at their favorite flavor or celeb with #EatCelebrityMeat. Sounds like the kind of joke you’d hear in a fraternity house, but Kevin says in the last three days that social media handle has had traffic up to 10,000 hits.

While Kevin said they currently have a few candidates who have stepped forward, Bite Labs has their laser sight on four particular celebrities, in which they describe in the italic text.

James Franco – Best known as the dude who plays Peter Parker’s best friend in the first Spiderman and a few movies later, tries to kill him.

“He's sexy. He's artsy. Let's make him salami. The Franco salami must be smoky, sexy, and smooth. Franco's meat will pair with lean, strong venison.”

Jennifer Lawrence – The main character of the Hunger Games. I haven’t seen the movies or read the books, so don’t ask me details.

“A different type of Hunger Game. The JLaw salami will be complemented by a mixture of rabbit and pork.”

Kanye West – An egotistical rapper who compared performing at concerts to fighting in the war and had a love child with Kim Kardashian.

“Always push the boundaries in taste. The Kanye Salami will pull no punches: heavy, and boldly flavored, pure Kanye West meat will blend with rich, coarse-ground pork.”

Ellen DeGeneres – She has a TV talk show, wears a suit, likes to dance and is the voice of Dory on Finding Nemo.

“Please welcome the Ellen Salami. As a salami, we see Ellen Salami composition blended with ostrich.”

Kevin told me the driver behind the project was to get people more interested in lab-grown meats and celebrity culture. By doing this, they believe it’s possible to provide the public with a more eco-friendly and safer product. Their website claims celebrity meat production only takes up 1 percent of land and resources compared to traditional meat production.

They also claim it’s not going to have any growth hormones or be in contact with pesticides or other chemicals associated with industrial farming.

“Farms are dirty, and animals prone to infection; Bite Labs is a clean space where we can grow safer, healthier products,” reads the web site.

In a world where prescriptions are handed out like candy canes during the Christmas season, I highly doubt my Kanye West snack will come from a 100 percent all natural Kanye West. And let’s hope Jennifer Lawrence isn’t on birth control – I don’t want the hormones in her meat to make me go through puberty again.

Until Bite Labs revolutionizes the food industry, I’ll have a hard time believing this isn’t a hoax. But until then, and after, I’m going to continue enjoying my whole beef salami – celebrity free. So please, don’t cut me off a slice of that James Franco.

Now you know my thoughts, what are yours?


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Comments (7) Leave a comment 

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ranchmom    
strong city kansas  |  March, 03, 2014 at 12:54 PM

I don't know, George Strait might sell!

Graybull    
Wyo  |  March, 03, 2014 at 09:20 PM

TOO ridicules to even comment on……….NO idea why you would even write/post such a "story"?

wanttoknow    
Missouri  |  March, 03, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Lighten up! This is just a whimsical look at what some of our competitors(?) are up to. Is this scheme going any where? No and it probably is all a hoax--- but that does not diminish the fact that already hundreds of thousands of dollars HAVE been spent to develop lab grown meat, with the ultimate goal of replacing you, provided you are a producer. Stick your head in the sand if you want but I appreciate knowing what the anti-ag crowd is up to, no matter how far fetched it may be.

Frank    
CO  |  March, 04, 2014 at 09:13 AM

I think the commentary was supposed to be ridicules due to this company's far fetched ideas. This website is full of serious news, so a laugh is welcomed every now and then. I agree, lighten up and move on to a news story, not a commentary.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  March, 07, 2014 at 09:29 AM

From the site: "Today, In-Vitro meat production is close to becoming a reality, offering highly controllable meat production without the animal cruelty, waste, and environmental impacts of industrial farming. But this process can offer so much more than replicas of beef and pork." I wouldn't eat it because my body does fine exclusively on plant proteins... But if it could result in feeding more flesh-addicted people without the negative impacts of animal agriculture, I'm all for it. Honestly how long should an industry stick with failing, archaic practices when there are better ways on the horizon? Don't you guys like "science" without the killing?

Meat eater    
Ks  |  March, 07, 2014 at 09:41 AM

I didn't realize trolls are vegetarians. Go away.

michael    
kansas  |  March, 07, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Psycho-Busy Bea at her best, in all her pompous, self-righteous glory! Judging and demeaning everyone who resists her holy crusade. Her insistence on claiming "science" as her own, coupled with her childish fantasy that a vegan paradise is "on the horizon" never fails to amuse me. Meat eater - Trolls are mythical, magical creatures that can be whatever the imagination chooses, and Bea has a lot of imagination & magical thinking. Sadly, not much else.


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