Friday, October 09, 2009
Lizanne- Bloody hungry
I have found, with exhaustive study; that the best (IE the most digestible) proteins, carbohydrates, not to mention the wealth of vitamins and minerals, and various bodily secretions like enzymes and hormones come from a creature that is similar in structure and function to oneself.
That said, I find the acquisition of acceptable foodstuffs problematic. Societal mores as well as my government’s legal standing is quite clear on the subject of cannibalism. So I had to get creative.
Of course cloning is illegal, but culturing... they have yet to pass a law against culturing. So I set about building a culture. The incubator was not hard to build, not for a modern girl like myself who has access to all sorts of tutorials and diagrams online. The nutrient solution was a bit problematic, but I soon resolved the formulae with a few emails to various scientists who are like-minded or are working on medical applications for cultured flesh, just the right balance of vitamins and water-soluble nutrients, along with various growth hormones; easily available in any vetinary catalogue (used in the beef industry).
Less than a month from the date I began the project I had my set up complete and was ready to culture. A very minor operation was necessary to remove a small sliver of my own skin, I chose to cut near my own navel, a somewhat symbolic gesture, and though I was not using any type of anesthetic (due to the risk of complicating my culture) It was easily achieved and my skin sliver was put into the Nutrient bath and into the incubator.
Of course this was my first sample, the initial trial if successful would result in more Skin and flesh with which I could load more incubators. My supply would have to be adequate for my needs, which were many and great. I am after all a growing girl.
The process unfortunately was not viewable, as I could not breech the incubator to see my experiment lest I introduce spores, bacterium or other undesirable elements... and so I waited. One week it would take to have a minimal result required to see if I was successful with my nutrient formulae, if the temperatures were correct, if the sample had any growth at all!
I was positively vibrating with excitement when I finally broached the seal... to find inside the box... I pulsating, living, Lump of flesh overflowing the Pyrex dish. My experiment was successful! I turned the meat over, it was flesh, and though not muscle this was skin and a fatty layer. The meat was deliciously pink, with a fine lattice of blue veins pumping and a layer of pale almost transparent skin across one side, which had pores, and fine golden hairs like the fuzz on a peach. It was perfect!
My mouth watered in fact when I thought about the possibilities, Fried the skin would crisp nicely, the fatty layer would melt and imbue the meat with the most wondrous flavor, I would not need to add much for a delightful meal, some herbs, a touch of sea salt.. It would be fantastic. In fact, I could not bear to wait. The initial phase was a success, in growth at least, now I really should make sure that the flavor was up to par. To make sure that all some stray chemical flavor, or some minor flaw in the meat itself did not spoil my hard work and ingenuity. No, I would have to sample this flesh, to make sure it was fit for my own consumption.
I cooked it in a very hot pan, the smell was delicious, and there was no feeling of disgust or queasiness about it at all. I had feared that I would somehow be repulsed, some vestigial primal emotion that would overcome my scientific and gastronomic ideal. This meat however invoked only a feeling of deep longing, of desire within me.
The first forkful was truly the finest flavor I have ever experienced, nothing more natural and flavorful than eating this my creation, my perfection, the flesh of my own generation.
I soon found myself licking the plate, my eyes closed in rapture, and I was satiated. Now the real work must begin. During the week of waiting I had built five more incubators and I would need to start the second phase of my experiment. The sutures from my previous incision were still in place, and once I removed them I found it a simple matter to reopen the surgery site and to carve off six more slivers, though this time it was significantly more difficult to stretch the skin to close the now expanded opening.
The stitches were tight and I had some difficulty in moving around enough to load the incubators and to fill the solution tanks, but once finished I could relax and allow myself some time to heal. That evening I debated on going to the super market to pick up groceries for the week, but it seemed like such a difficult task and hardly worth the effort to purchase substandard meat.
The idea of beef chicken or fish at this point was somewhat repugnant. Sure it would sustain me, but it would not give me pleasure, to masticate something so lowborn, such processed and removed foodstuff. In its plastic wrap and on its Styrofoam plate, with that disgusting little piece of padding underneath to soak up the blood.
Within two days however I was beginning to feel listless and weak. The blood seeping through my bandages was an obvious drain on my resources, and I felt the great need to fortify myself with a descent meal.
And so I broached the first of the six incubators.
Surely just by opening one of them I would get the boost to my system I needed, and I had five more with which to further my project. The portion of meat this time was significantly less but it was no less mouthwatering and tasted if possible even better than the first batch. Could it be that since this was younger, it was tenderer? Maybe I thought; I should increase the amount of incubators and shorten the incubation period.
Building the extra incubators was hard work, draining and demanding on my wounded body. It took a lot out of me, not to mention the fact that my sutures were still weeping blood, and I had to stop and change my bandages regularly. I was therefore forced into opening two of the incubators, in order to fortify me against what was to come. I still had three of them, which in a matter of days would be ready to open so that I might fill the other incubators with the harvested flesh.
By the next morning however I was beginning to have stomach cramps. Surely it was hunger because I had been pushing myself so very hard lately. I broached one more incubator, knowing full well I would be able to have enough to harvest in the last two if I waited the full seven days. I was significantly worried about my pale complexion and my feeling of distance from the world around me. I was stretching myself too thin and was exhausted but elated by my labors.
The sutures were still a concern, and I was now beginning to have yellow pus oozing out of the wound. I normally woud have promptly put myself on a course of antibiotics, although I would have to see a doctor in order to receive a prescription. Showing the suture site would have been a red flag to any accredited physician, and might have caused some sticky questions that I was not ready to answer, and so I simply began a more thorough cleaning regimen and began to take Echinacea and pain killers.
I was forced to open the next to last incubator that evening as I was now in no fit condition to go to the supermarket and was down to eating ketchup and mustard and drinking scotch. I could have ordered a pizza delivered, but the idea of a greasy round of bread covered in sauce and dubious preserved meats was repugnant to me.
No matter I would be able to preserve the project with the last incubator, which I would broach tomorrow, and divide the portions into the smallest viable sections with which I could fill the remaining incubators. That night I fell asleep at my desk in front of the final incubator, which hummed softly, its pump making a musical gurgle as it circulated the nutrient solution through the system feeding my growing flesh.
The next morning I faced my first true setback however; when I opened the final incubator to find that the system had been corrupted! I did not have an autoclave with which to sterilize my system between uses and the whole container had been contaminated by some putrid essence.
This was the first incubator I had built, and it was possible that I had missed cleaning some component, or that the flesh itself was contaminated by the infection which was now raging inside of me. I was feverish this morning and so distraught about the seeming failure that I resolved to scrub each incubator with bleach and boil the glass components to insure that this did not happen again.
The idea of starting over exhausted me but there was no hope for it. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had eaten the meat instead of it spoiling unused. Now I was left feeling a failure, weak and malnourished. I set up the tanks that I would need, but this time I would be more careful not to allow contagion into my sterile incubators. I would just have to try harder to make sure that all of the bases were covered.
The first problem was that I myself was contaminated. The suture site was infected and I would have to cut away any skin that had been corrupted. Once that was completed I had to cut new strips which given my small stature and petite build were by necessity small. Then there was the problem of healing properly, I would need my strength up in order to overcome all of the cutting I had been forced to endure.
I would have to go to the source so to speak, to eat my pure flesh without the benefit of nutrient solution or the growth hormones. This would be breaking the taboo of cannibalism, but well it was just this one time that it would be necessary. I would think of it as a control group, to see if it was any better in its unaltered state. To show myself that my own homegrown meat was just as good as the real thing.
As it was cooking I felt somewhat delirious and giddy. The idea of eating myself made me giggle. Really I should go and bandage myself (there was no way of suturing at this point as the skin removed was nearly covering the whole of my stomach at this point.) but I was just so hungry, and it really smelled wonderful. I couldn’t even wait for it to finish cooking. This time I had no plate, no napkin, no fork or knife, I am a barbarian tearing greasy bites as I slide to the kitchen floor and lay down pressing my face into the tile with a secretive smirk. I am truely....Delicious.
AUTHORS NOTE: The new concept of tissue cultured meat aka SMEAT is just a hypothesis at this point. No one has found a economical way to grow meat, though it is quite feasable. The type of meat is up to us. This was totally stream of conciousness writing and though the first paragraph does not set up the story properly I have not edited so that you can read it as I wrote it. The image was captured from another blog where it was not credited, if the artist would like to make him/herself known I will gladly beg official permission and credit them here.