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Heroes

From a basic burger to endangered species, this virtual restaurant wants you to have it all.

Would you eat meat that was grown in a laboratory? If these folks get their way, you just might get that chance.

A Dutch artist wants you to imagine a world beyond factory farms, slaughterhouses, and the culinary experience of meat as you know it.

In 2013, Dutch scientist Mark Post reached a huge milestone in his work to transform the way meat is produced. He created the world's first lab-grown, in vitro hamburger patty. After hearing about this potentially delicious breakthrough, fellow countryman and professional culture jammer Koert van Mensvoort was intrigued.


Not an in vitro burger. Photo by pointnshoot/Flickr.

But after hearing about Post's burger, Mensvoort, an artist at heart, was a little dissatisfied. According to NPR:

"When van Mensvoort first heard of lab-cultured meat, he says the scientists who 'thought they could use in vitro meat to make the same steaks, sausages, and hamburgers that we all know' disappointed him. He felt that they should be reaching farther with this exciting new technology."

So Mensvoort opened Bistro In Vitro, an online restaurant that's ready to feed your imagination!

"It's a virtual restaurant, so we strictly serve food for thought," says Mensvoort. He's partnered with renowned chefs to get people psyched about the future of sustainable meats (also called cultured meats), a food innovation that's being made possible through stem-cell research. And I have to say, some of their ideas are pretty appetizing.

Their menu includes bizarre bites like...

Friendly Foie Gras

Scallops with Cultured Caviar

Magic Meatballs

See-Through Sashimi

Ravioli of Cultured Bresse Chicken

Crane Origami

Dodo Nuggets

And here's one that actually gives me the shivers, but I'm game:

Celebrity Cubes

Tasty as these may sound, why would anyone want meat that was grown in vitro? Well, let's consider our current relationship with meat.

The U.S. is a global leader when it comes to carnivorous cravings, with the average American consuming 125 pounds of red meat and poultry per year!

And according to the Bistro In Vitro fact page, our current meat production systems require an obscene amount of resources. From farm to factory to market,producing a single quarter-pound burger, for example, it says takes all this:

  • 52 gallons of water for irrigation and cattle hydration
  • 6.6 pounds of grain
  • 75 square feet of land for crops and grazing
  • 1.09 kilojoules of fossil fuel energy ("enough to power your microwave for 18 minutes")

For a quarter-pound of ground beef! Can you believe it?

As long as humans are around, meat will be, too. But it's clear we need to change how it's produced.

In vitro meat could not only solve for systemic animal cruelty, but it's also a possible solution to global crises such as climate change and world hunger.

If the thought of lab-grown meat still doesn't sit right, Jason Matheny, founder of New Harvest, a nonprofit working to advance cultured meats asks that you consider this:

"Cultured meat isn't natural, but neither is yogurt. And neither, for that matter, is most of the meat we eat. Cramming 10,000 chickens in a metal shed and dosing them full of antibiotics isn't natural.

I view cultured meat like hydroponic vegetables. The end product is the same, but the process used to make it is different. Consumers accept hydroponic vegetables. Would they accept hydroponic meat?"

That's biophilosopher Cor van der Weele. She knows what she's talking about.

Watch a delightful introduction to Bistro In Vitro below, then visit their website to "place your order" for a heaping plateful of the future.

Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

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One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

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Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

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Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

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Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

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The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

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There are over 30 years between these amazing before-and-after photos.

"It's important for me for my photography to make people smile."

All photos by Chris Porsz/REX/Shutterstock.

Before and after photos separated by 30 years.


Chris Porsz was tired of studying sociology.

As a university student in the 1970s, he found the talk of economics and statistics completely mind-numbing. So instead, he says, he roamed the streets of his hometown of Peterborough, England, with a camera in hand, snapping pictures of the people he met and listening to their stories. To him, it was a far better way to understand the world.

He always looked for the most eccentric people he could find, anyone who stood out from the crowd. Sometimes he'd snap a single picture of that person and walk away. Other times he'd have lengthy conversations with these strangers.

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