Celebrity Salami Company BiteLabs Isn't Quite Ready To Go To Market With Test-Tube Human Meat

Hunger Game? Startup Whets Public Appetite For Salami Made From Celebrities

Ever think Jennifer Lawrence looks good enough to eat? You're not alone.

A start-up called BiteLabs has been floating the idea of making salami out of test-tube meat grown from celebrity tissue samples, and has provided flavor profiles to whet potential supporters' appetites.

JLaw's proposed flavor profile is described as having "notes of honey... spiced with orange zest and ginger," whereas James Franco's is "smoky, sexy, and smooth." BiteLabs suggests pairing Kanye West's bold, spicy test-tube steak with a strong bourbon.

james franco salami
Om nom nom. James Franco is one of BiteLabs' unofficial antipasto poster-boys.

Although the market for such products doesn't exist, the company's website encourages visitors to tweet their support for their favorite would-be celebrity meat product. Despite the Twitter campaign's efforts, it doesn't look like any celebrities have signed over their tissue samples or their endorsement.

It may sound creepy and unethical, but as one representative told PSFK, the aim of the project -- promoting discussion about lab-grown meat -- is "100 percent serious."

In an email to The Huffington Post, one of the fledgling company's founders said the idea is more of a conversation starter about the viability of lab-grown meat than it is a viable product -- at least for now.

"Making celebrity meat a reality will all depend on our ability to generate public enthusiasm," the representative -- who would identify himself only as Martin ("due to the controversial nature of [the] product") -- said. "We want to prompt widespread discussion about bioethics, lab-grown meats, and celebrity culture."

BiteLabs maintains that a cornerstone of that discussion is sustainability. Its website notes:

Currently, 70 percent of the world’s farmland (almost 30 percent of the entire earth’s surface) is used for raising animals. Meat production today is simply unsustainable: unless a radical change is made, the price of meat will eventually rise out of control. Lab grown meats are the future.

Fair enough. But even if people were to get onboard with eating lab-grown meat, the acceptance threshold for human-sourced lab meat is likely to be significantly higher. While Martin admitted that the idea of consuming human-sourced tissue would seem unappetizing, he insisted it isn't cannibalism.

celebrity salami
"Jennifer Lawrence: A Different Type of Hunger Game"

"The lab-grown celebrity meat in our salamis would never have been part of a human being. We do acknowledge that thus [sic] sits in something of a grey area," Martin wrote. "We're glad to see that people are bringing this up. It's all part of this bio-ethics discussion that we're interested in starting."

Martin also pointed out that the proposed salamis would be made from a mix of "celebrity" and in-vitro meat, which already exists. He said the products would provide "a new and exciting way to connect fans with their favorite celebrities" and give BiteLabs "an edge in the lab-grown meat market."

But if the prospect of lab-grown meat still seems unappetizing, don't worry. You can look forward to building your diet around this nutrient-rich fungus grown from ethanol byproducts.

Or, you know, eat your vegetables instead.

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