Victimless meat

10 October -2 November, 2005
Yumiko Tanaka

The brief

Scientists are developing methods of growing meat in labs using animal cells. This area of research, called In Vitro-Cultured Meat Production raises all sorts of complex issues about the meaning of food, our relationship to animals (and nature), human values and behaviours, and even taboos.

Think about the different stages of the process: production, distribution, commodification, consumption and disposal. How it’s produced, what services, environments and products it might give rise to, and how human values and attitudes might change towards animals, nature, people, and taboos.

The purpose of the project is to explore how design can be used as a medium to draw attention to the social, cultural and ethical implications of ‘cultured meat’. Your design proposals should pose questions rather than provide answers, making complex issues tangible, and therefore debatable.

The idea

Cultivating the meats = cooking

Think about the difference between cultivated meat and natural meat.
Cultivated meat …
- does not need to be cooked.
- does not have a shape.
- takes a long time to grow.
- has never been rotten.
We can control everything to make a taste of meat, such as a flavour, a texture and a shape, through the process of growing meat. We can also make it bacteria-free, so the meat does not have to be cooked.

I focused on the process of growing the meat at home and imagined the story to
have a dinner party and explained it with a scenario film.

Video (scenario)

The other ideas

Making a recipe book
The book explains how to make, instead of explaining how to cook.

In the recipe book, there are mainly three categories to explain how to grow meats.

1) preparation
There is information of specific meat, because people might prefer to use a cell of pedigree types of animals. The information helps you to choose the right one for your dish.

2) basic cultivation
Compounded chemicals stimulate our taste. Learn the potency and guide cooks to make perfect flavour.

3) menu
Recipes and examples of fancy dishes.

Thinking of how the values of the meat changes
Cultivated meats are living and have never been rotten. This difference makes a massive change in the value of the meat.

1) brewer type of value
People start to be interested to know where the cell comes from or who takes care of the animal cells. It is an idea of branding. People like to have a cell from a famous region or a farm.

2) legendary meal
A meat grown by a great craftsman will be very valuable and popular. A meat growing kit produced by a famous restaurant will also be popular and might be sold in supermarkets. It is easy to get the cell of genetically quality meat, so the value of the meat will shift to other additional speciality.

3) idea of age
The meat will never been rotten. Then the idea of age will appear as a wine. People like to know the age of the meat and eat the meat which relates to memorial days.