We talked to Rabbi Arnold Bienstock of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a Conservative Synagogue in Carmel, Indiana, and asked his opinion on the matter. "The way any religious issue comes down, in the Jewish community, is the more traditional, pious Orthodox Jews have a hard time accepting change, the Reform embrace it, and the Conservatives fight about it," said Bienstock, with dry humor. So it will vary greatly along the various degrees of observation.
Bienstock thinks the Conservatives will be hesitant to adopt artificially raised meat, unless it's seen as something completely different to its original form. The Rabbi compared this to two previous cases with kosher food: cheese and gelatin. Both contain animal products which may not be kosher, so specific variations have to be made for people who are strictly Orthodox. On the other hand, the Conservative movement viewed these objects as being so far changed and removed from their original source, that they don't need to be kosher. Says Bienstock, "these elements are re-defined as not really being meat, as the substance is so incredibly transformed. So using [this technology] the Conservative movement might say it's not really meat because it doesn't come from an animal."
Link | Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
I would love to see one of them say "we can't tell if this is good or bad because our god didn't create it.. wha?"
But it does come from an animal, the cells used to start the growth process have to come from somewhere. You can't take cells from a tomato and a carrot, fuse them together somehow and call that beef.
I'd think if the original cells and/or other necessary ingredients came from a kosher animal to begin with, how can the petri-dish meat grown from it not be kosher?