back to article Investor pulls out of Facebook, pumps cash into pork-printing joint

News that maverick venture capitalist Peter Thiel dumped 20 million Facebook shares – about $400m worth – last week was accompanied by an announcement about a small investment he made around the same time: in a printable meat company. Looks like biotech company Modern Meadow's ambition to print out a "pork sheet" is more …

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  1. Yesnomaybe

    Nom nom nom

    Spam. Lovely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nom nom nom

      Must have made a loss?

  2. LinkOfHyrule
    Coffee/keyboard

    Oh man, reading that is making me want to throw up, seriously, that is totally gross!

    I feel sorry for anyone who's in prison, school or eats fast food in fifteen years time. I would say go veggie but they'll probably be printing out carrots by then too at this rate!

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      whereas I found myself strangely interested in the idea. I want my printout steak now!

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        as an expat living stateside, whilst I share your mistrust, the idea of being able to print some real bacon is attractive. Over 300 million people and virtually no decent bacon. It is a crime! You actually have to make your own which takes a while.

        Now if they can make one print a decent curry and a gallon of scrumpy as well I may just get over my reservations.

        I bet the replacement cartridges will cost a fortune!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Replacement cartridges produced in "black" prisons from "leftover scraps" :P

          1. Thorne

            Soylent Green anyone?

            1. micheal

              Damn you

              Beat me to it

      2. Thorne

        Stuff the steak! I want the set of ribs Fred Flintstone gets

    2. tkioz

      Have you ever seen an animal butchered and the meat processed? It's no less disgusting then the process in the article, in fact it's a lot more disgusting.

      Just don't think about it for a while and you'll be able to stomach it.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Yes often, although perhaps I experience it in a less commercial setting. I can imagine in mass slaughter houses it is probably done with no care and a focus on speed. I have no problems personally killing my dinner, some of my dinners killed other things along the way, such is life right? We just happened to luck out to the top of the chain. It might disgust you, and I assume you are a vegan and applaud you for having the courage to stand by your convictions, but bambi tastes nice. It's not something I get enjoyment from, it is just part of life.

        1. tkioz
          Terminator

          There is a vast difference between personally butchering an animal you have killed and a slaughter house.

          I've butchered plenty of animals, both hunted and on the farm, myself, it's not too bad, a bit bleeeck but honestly not that bad. In fact I think everyone who eats meat should kill, butcher, and dress at least one animal in their life to gain an understanding of it.

          Slaughter house? Would turn the stomach for a combat veteran. Disgusting places. Remembering the smell alone makes me retch.

      2. LinkOfHyrule
        FAIL

        Have you ever seen an animal butchered and the meat processed?

        Yes I have thank you. There is nothing I find disgusting about the process actually. Some of the factory framing methods are however pretty sick, but good quality meet, no nothing about it turns my stomach at all. I am well aware where meet comes from thank you. I am not sure why all the downvotes - clearly you lot are happy to eat man made meat - I'm not. It's totally gross like I said. On the other hand, dead animals, blood, guts, organs - yum yum!

        Give me tough chunk of offal over printed bacon anyday.

        1. The BigYin

          Re: Have you ever seen an animal butchered and the meat processed?

          @LinkOfHyrule - You have seen the meat butchering and processing system they use in the USA? And you don't find it disgusting? You prefer the animals to suffer, for the carcasses to be cross-infected, for massive amount of chemicals to be used to deal with aforementioned infection vectors? And for the end product to be some over-sized, tasteless pap?

          And you think the factory farming is somehow separate to the factory butchering?

          Really?

          That's why all the downvotes!

          "Manmade meat" FFS. You think a broiler is natural? You need an education.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. LinkOfHyrule

            Re: Have you ever seen an animal butchered and the meat processed?

            Clearly you cannot understand English mate..................

            I said I do not find the process involved in making good quality meat to be disgusting. Good quality meat is never made in factory conditions and the animals have a decent life - makes their meat much much more yummier if they aint all stressed out. I actually clearly stated that some of the factory farming process are sick did I not?

            Man made meat - what the heck is wrong with you - yes, synthetic, non natural meat however you want to call it. I don't want to eat that shit. Give me some man made replacement organs if I need them but I am not eating that fucking lame shit! You can if you want, I am sure your printed out roast beef will be lovely and full of flavour.............. I'll stick to brutally killing cows and eating their flesh. I am obviously the most evil person in the world for that arnt I!

            Fucking most epic fail I ever seen here.. You suck mate.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Have you ever seen an animal butchered and the meat processed?

            If they can print me a broiler, or as some might call it an "oven-ready chicken" I would be well happy

            For some reason I would still like it with bones though, can they fake a skeleton too? Any good for soup? ;)

  3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    It's an intriguing tech - and should considerably less damaging than the disgusting state of the US pork industry... whole rivers and eco-systems destroyed by the toxic run off from the "farms" (hard to really call them farms).

    It also shows that a vacuum of real return when it comes to facebook, compared the the possibility of real, tangible returns, from a business that actually produces something. Getting in at the start of something like this artificial meat product, while possibly risky (partly due to the inevitable lobbying from established players and just risk of technical failure), could pay off very well.

    On an aside - how would vegetarians feel about this meat? Some are veggies because of their dislike of farming and killing animals, with this aspect removed would they eat artificially grown meat?

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      I agree, if we can produce pure, clean, unhormoned meat economically from raw materials which don't have a huge impact on the environment then it might end up a good idea.

      Couldn't agree more re facebook vs a real product.

    2. DAN*tastik

      @ Nick Ryan

      Personally, I am a vegetarian but I am hardly fussed about not eating meat. Some people do miss it though, so it is very likely they would eat that.

      Another great outcome would be that the use of halal and kosher meet, which is creeping up even in the western world, can be banned without getting the eaters too upset. It could already be banned now really...

      1. wibble001

        Re: @ Nick Ryan

        But wouldn't a vegetarian be able to eat this stuff, given that it is synthesized meat rather than a dead animal?

        1. Ru

          Re: "synthesized meat"

          The structure is synthetic, but the components are anything but. They are genuine animal derived cells.

          This system might do the job for people who are veggies because they disagree with the farming and slaughter of animals for meat. People who don't eat meat for slightly more nebulous reasons (religionm primarily) will no doubt engage in ethical debates for many, many years to come. Printed bacon slabs were descended from bits of actual pig, after all; seems like they'd still count as treyf.

          1. DAN*tastik

            @Ru

            Yes, my point is, you don't want to eat synthetised pork? Fine. Eat synthetised cow. Or Quorn.

            1. vic 4
              Unhappy

              Re: Or quorn

              Why would anyone want quorn :-( I'd rather eat paper mache covered in the most disgusting substance known to man (marmite of course).

    3. Charles Manning

      How would vegetarians feel?

      My two vegetarian sons, well one is actually vegan, both hunt.

      I think there is a distinction between killing something and what you put in your mouth. Some meat eaters like to eat meat but could not kill it. Some vegetarians don't mind killing animals, but don't want to put dead animal in their mouth.

      But how would anyone feel about this stuff? Surely it is not any worse than http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime

    4. Osgard Leach
      Thumb Down

      This is just factory farming by another name. I want my pork hand-sketched by artists in a respectful, sustainable manner.

  4. g e
    Joke

    Prior art ?

    The Fifth Element Mila Jojovich Construct-o-tron machine?

    1. Phil Standen
      Terminator

      Re: Prior art ?

      i would buy one if I would print out my own Alice!

    2. AceRimmer1980
      WTF?

      Re: Prior art ?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r3tx3IEsN4

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior art ?

      Yeah but you'ŗe not supposed to eat her, exactly? But if she's not actually alive .... ewwwww whatever, hope you warm her up first ;)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Not news

    Fleet Street have been printing Pork Pies for years now.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vegetarian bacon!

    That's chuffing awesome!

    I'm looking forward to the day when a bag of Frazzles doesn't contain any potato at all.

    1. Code Monkey
      Headmaster

      Re: Vegetarian bacon!

      Frazzles are made of corn. Always have been.

      </greasy-snack-pedant>

      1. kissingthecarpet
        Meh

        Re: Vegetarian bacon!

        Bacon Fries are superior to Frazzles.

        PS Whatever happened to Rancheros?

        1. Code Monkey

          Re: Vegetarian bacon!

          Bacon fries are better but come in a disappointingly tiny bag. Given the choice I'll always go for Frazzles.

  7. Jonathan Walsh
    Thumb Up

    mmmmm …

    … sausages, patties and nuggets.

  8. TRT Silver badge

    Well seeing as how printer ink costs more than champagne...

    I can't see this being a cheap option.

    Although if they DO make a food printer (isn't that an early form of Star Trek food replicator?), I could see it being useful for printing out a sandwich or something - except what do you do about the error messages? JAM in output tray for example?

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      Refer to the Bacon Jam experts.

      1. Warren Sealey
        IT Angle

        Bacon Jam

        I managed to get my order in for next day delivery. AND amazon allow me to do an automated re-order..

        10 print "Hurrah - Bacon Jam tomorrow!"

        20 goto 10

        Nom.

        IT angle? because computers don't work without Bacon.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Bacon Jam

          I think you'll find it's chips that make computers work. The bacon just enhances the experience.

          I wonder... a chip and bacon sarnie... Hmmm...

    2. Code Monkey
      Coat

      Re: Well seeing as how printer ink costs more than champagne...

      Surely that would be a jam jam in the output tray.

      Mine's the one with the dozen printed scotch eggs in the pocket.

  9. LordButt©
    Thumb Down

    Soyant Green?

    1. Andy ORourke
      Headmaster

      Don't you mean......

      Soylent green

      1. Goat Jam
        Coat

        Re: Don't you mean......

        Soyant green is the Chinese knock off.

        Steer clear of it at all costs

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ooo i see it now!

    Printed bacon sarnie cartridges and printers:

    Sliced bread in the "paper tray"

    Multi "Ink" cartridge:

    . Bacon

    . Butter

    . Ketchup

    . HP sauce

    . Barbecue Sauce (yes, I did read the perfect bacon sarnie comments)

    Passes in whatever order you want.

    Bloody hot "fusing roller"

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Joke

    Someone print me a burger

    Cannot be worse than the alleged burgers sold in some dives

  12. Lloyd
    Coat

    Printable bacon

    So you could use it like a 3D printer to make such products as pork swords and spam javelins?

    Will they be moving onto cows as I'm rather partial to beef curtains myself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Printable bacon

      Yeah, and you get to sell them at Millwall at half-time. "Spam Javelins, nice and fresh, get your chops round these then boys, nice and hot .... Spam Jaaaaa "

  13. Dr Who

    To paraphrase Mick Dundee "You can live on it, but it tastes like sheet".

  14. Tieger
    WTF?

    so, heres my concern...

    cartridges will "contain cells of different sorts suspended in gels - muscle cells, fibroblasts and fatty adipocytes".

    so, umm, where do those cells come from? surely we still need to either grow the animals, or grow the cells in more traditional manners, anyway?

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Can they make other pork objects, like swords?

  16. AndeckVee
    Coat

    3d pork products

    Ron Jeremy and Ann Summers walk into a taxidermist... that is all

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price

    I bet the printers will be cheap but the oink cartridges will cost a fortune!

  18. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    You can't print the bacon!

    Salt will clog up the print head!!

    Now, how do I dial a halal piece of lamb??

  19. stucs201

    Standards required

    This will work alot better if we can get the makers of bacon printers to talk to bakers and agree on a standard size so that the bacon fits the bread properly. However I'm not hopeful since there still isn't agreement between bakers and toaster manufacturers about the correct size for a piece of bread.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Standards required

      You have to allow for a 5mm bleed...

      1. kend1
        Joke

        Re: Standards required

        requires iBread [rectangular with rounded corners]

  20. John A Blackley

    "The pork sheet will be electrically stimulated in the bioreactor chamber"

    I can hear, now, the cries of, "It's aliiiive! It's aliiive! Bwahahaha!"

    1. Monkey Bob
      Megaphone

      Igor, throw the switch!

  21. HeyMickey
    Thumb Up

    Finally, an opportunity to deny PETA some campaign funding...

    Hopefully the scientists behind this will claim the $1million off PETA:

    http://www.peta.org/features/In-Vitro-Meat-Contest.aspx

    Anything that takes money out of the pockets of those nut-nuts gets my thumbs up. Maybe they could even take the million dollars and give it to a real animal charity. Like, you know, one that doesn't keep hundreds of dead dogs in a meat locker then throw some of them in a neighbor's bin when that gets full...

  22. 27escape
    Happy

    not that different to some vegan products

    As far as manufacturing things goes, people do not question how their quorn or tofu is made, nor question the chemicals involved. Why should a meat printing factory be any different?

    I am quite happy to have printed meat of a certain quality, likely beats out the pink slime that McDonalds were using.

    If this sort of protein uses less resources than growing a pig or a cow then all is good.

    Sorry farmers!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    porker

    from one pig of a company.

    to a company of a pig.

    piggy go oink.

    were can i snout out more.

    cash,cash,i need more cash.

    push,push,must push harder.

    i need more than anyone else.

    oink,oink,goes piggy.

    must be first.

    must beat bankers.

    and greedy others.

    oink,oink,goes piggy.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A countryside with few animals in?

    and no one to maintain the green and pleasant pastures.

    That will be an interesting experience.

    1. Thorne

      Re: A countryside with few animals in?

      It will all become suberbia anyway

  25. Local Group
    Happy

    Pie in the sky

    for dessert?

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