By Jonathan Benson, contributing writer to Natural News
Salami is people, at least if it’s made by a new startup company calling itself “Bite Labs,” whose CEO admittedly wants to convert more people into accepting as normal the idea of lab-grown meat. As explained on the company’s website, consumers may soon be able to purchase meat products like salami rolls derived from the actual cells of their favorite celebrities, the tangible equivalent of modern-day cannibalism disguised as saving the planet.
The bizarre concept was apparently hatched out of a desire by the company’s elusive owner, “Martin,” whose last name remains a company secret, to open up more public dialogue on the legitimacy of imitation meat grown in labs. By tying celebrity culture into his agenda, Martin hopes to capture and manipulate a much wider audience by enticing folks into literally having the chance to eat their favorite stars in the comfort of their own homes.
“Making celebrity meat a reality will all depend on our ability to generate public enthusiasm,” explained Martin in an email to TIME. “We also want to prompt widespread discussion about bioethics, lab-grown meats, and celebrity culture — this is very important to us. We think the cultural discussion around lab-grown meats and popular culture will acclimate people to the field. We’re treating it as a cultural precursor for when our product eventually hits production.”
Making cannibalism fashionable to the modern masses
On its surface, the ludicrous idea might seem like some kind of sick joke or highly disturbing internet hoax, which in a way it is. Bite Labs currently does not possess any celebrity myoblast cells, for instance, which it needs in order for the process to work. At this time, the company is trying to build momentum for a social media blitz that calls on celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and James Franco to jump on board the project.
“Starting with biopsied myoblast cells, we grow our healthy, rich, meats in Bite Labs’ own bioreactors,” adds the website. “Our process yields high-quality, luxury protein, in a sustainable manner that eliminates the environmental and ethical concerns associated with traditional livestock production.”
Playing the “green” card, though, is simply not enough to overcome the fact that the initiative is nothing more than modern-day cannibalism posing as trendy novelty. The target audience for such a product — “Like, OMG, did you try that new Ryan Gosling prosciutto?” — is probably the least likely to recognize this, but any rational thinking person should be able to recognize the morbid direction in which our society is heading.
Partly real, partly commentary
While company spokesmen have admitted to other media sources that the project is partly meant to be a commentary on the so-called “ethics of meat” and ” the way celebrity culture is consumed,” the celebrity-derived meat part is not a hoax. Someone from Bite Labs named “Kevin” told VICE‘s Motherboard that it hopes to eventually obtain the needed biopsy samples to produce the artificial meat.
“Each salami will have roughly 30% celebrity meat and 40% lab-grown animal meats (we’re currently looking into ostrich and venison but it [sic] pork and beef are more popular in our early research),” Kevin is quoted as stating. “The rest will consist of fats and spices. This break-down comes from consultation with expert food designers and chefs.”
At the current time, none of the four celebrities from whom Bite Labs hopes to obtain cell samples — these include James Franco, Jennifer Lawrence, Kanye West and Ellen DeGeneres — have responded to the call.