Friday, April 27, 2012

Food of The Future: Shmeat

Shmeat (short for sheet of lab-grown meat) is a lab-created meat product; essentially, animal tissue which has been cloned for the purpose of consumption without killing live, fully formed animals. This technology has been around since the late 20th century, but did not see wide public use until the late 2020s. After years of testing and refinement, a wide range of different meat products became available to a hungry populace. It is now an ever expanding market, especially in drought-affected regions, starships and the colonies.
Such in-vitro meat has a number of advantages. Being just a lump of cultivated cells, it is produced without harm or cruelty to animals. It is unusually pure and healthy whilst retaining the original flavour, texture and appearance of traditional meat. Perhaps most importantly, it requires far less water and energy to produce, greatly lessening the impact on the environment.
Shmeat products can be found throughout settled space. The most well-known meat types are "beef" "chicken" and "pork" but vaguely unrecognizable but familiar types are also very common. Most pre-packaged foods that include meat of some kind in-fact use shmeat. Some of the most widespread shmeat products are:
Burrito: A favorite amongst UCNP, miners and college students, burritos are widely sold and consumed. Each burrito is a spicy alternative to a tube of food paste found in the survival pack detailed on page 10 under Adventuring Gear.
Chili: A spicy favorite, sold in a self-heating canister, this soupy mixture included "beef" shmeat and beans in a red-brown sauce. Though supplying the benefits of a full meal, this canned chili is salty, and consumers will need to drink alongside this meal.
Meat Pie: A small pastry filled with shmeat (any type, or a mix), and a brown gravy. This greasy treat is loved by laborers beat cops, sec police and assorted night workers.
Not-Dog Hot-Dog: Any kind of shmeat can be made into sausages of all kinds, but none are as popular as the hot dog. Shmeat hot dogs are normally of the caseless kind, but natural casings are sometimes used.
Soylent Meat Spread: Made from in-vitro meat derived from unspecified proteins mixed with Manna algae. This nutritious, salty treat (spread on soy crackers) was originally developed on the formerly lost Betelgeuse mining expedition, but has since become quite popular.
SPORK: A ham and pok shmeat product that comes in a can. This sweet and salty product is greatly loved by those who lead an active life, and who need a jolt of fat and sugar. One can can serve as a days rations, but is usually used as part of a meal (such as fried alongside eggs or in a sandwich).

Note: This, along with Manna, is very real, and will be seen in stores in the near future. Shmeat is slowly being brought up to viability as a widely distributed food product, and may already have some "tester" products showing up in discount food stores and fast food restaurants. 
I am not necessarily against shmeat, but I am very wary. As with all new products, the earlier versions of shmeat are almost guaranteed to be fraught with their own pitfalls. I also lack any real trust for the corporations involved to not take disgusting shortcuts along the way. Thing pink slime is gross? Just wait! The future is bright with salty-tasting grossness...

No comments:

Post a Comment