Kit That Allows You To Grow Your Own Human Steaks Isn't 'Technically' Cannibalism, Makers Promise

The creators of the Ouroboros Steak, the world's first kit that enables one to grow their own human steaks from cells, have claimed that it is not technically considered cannibalism.

Andrew Pelling, Orkan Telhan, and Grace Knight developed the DIY kit as a part of the Designs for Different Futures exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and it was recently nominated for "design of the year" at the Design Museum in London.

1. No, You Can't Actually Buy This

To clarify, the Ouroboros Steak DIY kit is not available for purchase. Rather, it is a conceptual endeavor designed to offer a "critical commentary on the lab-grown meat industry" and challenge the industry's purported sustainability. Theoretically, the kit would provide all the necessary components to grow human steaks, which many individuals find unsettling.

2. Wait, Isn't This… Cannibalism?

According to the creators, the consumption of human steaks would not be classified as cannibalism, although it is theoretically what one would be ingesting. Knight clarified that people associate the act of eating oneself with cannibalism, which does not technically apply in this case.

Telhan further explained that while their design is scientifically and economically viable, it is also ironic. The team does not endorse self-cannibalism as a feasible solution to address humans' protein requirements.

Rather, they pose a question about the potential sacrifices that individuals may need to make to continue consuming meat at the current rate. They contemplate who will be able to afford animal meat in the future and who may have no other option but to culture meat from themselves.

3. We're Okay With Eating Animals…

Knight stated that expired human blood is a medical waste that is more sustainable and cost-effective than FBS, but it is not as culturally acceptable. The creators of the Ouroboros Steak maintain that the kit does not cause harm to humans, unlike lab-grown animal meat.

Pelling explained that fetal bovine serum is expensive and obtained through animal sacrifice. While some lab-grown meat companies assert that they have addressed this issue, there have not been any independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies to substantiate these claims.

The team believes it is crucial to create designs that highlight some of the lab-grown meat industry's fundamental challenges to look beyond the hype, given the field's rapid development.

4. Some Of The Miniature Steaks Are On Display At The Design Museum

The DIY kit involves preserving the cells in resin and presenting them on a plate with silverware for a humorous effect. The process entails using a cotton swab to obtain cells from inside one's cheek and then placing them on a scaffold created from mushroom mycelium, which is already grown.

The scaffold with the cells is kept in a warm environment and fed with human serum regularly until it is fully developed, which takes around three months. The entire process is quite fascinating if you consider it.