Is Meat Grown in a Petri Dish Kosher?

So scientists can now grow meat in a laboratory -- that is, animal muscle tissue without starting with an actual, living animal. This has brought up all sorts of interesting ethical questions, particularly among vegetarians. But here's the angle that Tim Barribeau of io9 took: is artificially-produced meat compliant with Jewish food traditions?

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

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Es muy importante respetar a quien sigue la tradición Kosher o del kashrut. Creo que está bueno que siempre haya una opción para gente que mantiene sus creencias. Obviamente tiene que ser lo mismo para gente de cualquier religión que tenga sus propios rituales. Por ejemplo, se ofrecen hasta Departamentos kosher que sirven para que la persona que sigue la tradición pueda disfrutar de sus vacaciones sin ningún problema.
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So they can't really rule on it because it didn't exist when their religion was written. hmmm really brings the whole basis of religions into focus.

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?"
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"...the Conservative movement might say it’s not really meat because it doesn’t come from an animal."

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?
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It's PoesJe with a j. Ok, but how do they get the fetuses? What happens with the animal the fetuses come from? This doesn't have to have necessarily something to do with abortion.
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poese, stem cells come from unborn fetuses, so the argument you put out there also depends if the vegetarian believes in abortion or not i suppose.
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