Sunday, March 18, 2018

"Companies Are Betting on Lab-Grown Meat, but None Know How to Get You to Eat It"

The dream of any right-thinking change agent is to mandate that people use your product.
If that approach is not feasible the fallback is to tax the competition

Here at Totalitarian Marketing Group we supply strategies for the power-mad while making life easier for the top 0.0000001%. TMG, when nudge just isn't fast enough.

From Futurism:
IndieBio wants to feed you dog food. More specifically: they want to feed you dog food made of non-animal protein grown in a lab.

If you’re already grossed out, we don’t blame you.

Nonetheless, IndieBio is part of a growing wave of companies betting that lab-grown protein is the future of food. Meat consumption is both environmentally hazardous and ethically a bit, uh, hard to swallow, so there are more people than ever working to find a solution. So many people, in fact, that a future rife with lab-grown meat feels inevitable.

But there’s a significant factor that these companies seem to not have considered: the “ick factor.” That is, how will companies get people accustomed to this understandably off-putting concept?
“People will get used to clean meat in a hurry if it tastes right, if it smells right,” asserts culinary biochemist Ali Bouzari in a video interview with Wired. “If it doesn’t, it’s gonna be a monumental thing to overcome.”

The Uncanny Valley of Food
Think about the last time you bit into something that was way slimier than you expected. Even if it tasted amazing, your brain probably responded with a wave of nausea that made it impossible for you to keep eating.

That reaction is what Bouzari calls the “uncanny valley” of food (yes, our aversion to almost-lifelike robots isn’t the only uncanny valley in our strange psyches).

“The uncanny valley of meat, and with food in general, is when you get to something that’s a highly sophisticated imitation but not quite there, it forces your brain into a very small window of context,” Bouzari explained to Wired. “Where you say, I’m convinced I’m gonna be eating a chicken nugget, this better behave exactly like a chicken nugget in every way, shape, and form, or I’m going to freak out.”
That’s because evolution has hard-wired our brains to make food seem incredibly repulsive if it might sicken or kill us. As a result, if a food doesn’t fit our expectations of what it’s supposed to feel or taste like, our brains involuntarily reject it....MUCH MORE
Here's an excellent example of the Uncanny Valley effect in virtual reality that we've been using to illustrate the problem:

Seinfeld, Virtual Reality and Mild Revulsion
The Uncanny Valley, Interior-Design Edition

Greg Miller
The "uncanny valley" usually applies to human aesthetics. It describes that vague sense of revulsion you get when you see a fabricated person—a robot, usually—who looks aaaaalmost human … but not quite....
You know what the image is supposed to represent and you know it is not that place.
Soooo close

And previously on the Protein Channel:

The Largest U.S. Protein Processor (chicken, beef, pork) Is Investing in Lab Grown Meat
Dealflow: "New Investors Flock To Food"
"Silicon Valley and the Search for Meatless Meat"
"Where’s The Beef? China Signs $300 Million Deal with Israel to Import ‘Lab Meat’"
Bill Gates Invests In Another Lab-Grown Meat Company
"Bill Gates headlines an all-star list of investors pumping $75 million into meatless burgers"
Mr. Gates also partnered with Li Ka-Shing and Khosla on Hampton Creek which is attempting to pivot from Just Mayo into laboratory-grown 'meat'.*
"Mayo-scandal firm Hampton Creek from San Francisco going whole hog for Frankenmeat: report"
Just Mayo Guy, Hampton Creek's Josh Tetrick, Pivots to Industrial Scale Ingredient Supply Biz
Hampton Creek: Remember All Our Vegetarian Talk? Never Mind    
Questions America Wants Answered: Is Eating Lab Grown Human Flesh Cannibalism?
"People buying meat from strangers on social media is a serious problem"
Seven Startups Creating Lab-Grown Meat
"Can Planet Earth Feed 10 Billion People?"
We might have to go lower down on the protein chain though.
I hear crickets are yummy but haven't yet verified this claim..