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Food

PETA Fails in Getting Anyone to Create In Vitro Meat

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Does your favorite Veggie hot dog taste like meat? (Photo of a veggie dog by nicadlr via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Back in 2008, PETA launched a competition that said it would give $1 million to anyone who could create and market in vitro meat by June 30, 2012. That deadline hit, and now they're granting an extension to 2013, since no one has been able to deliver.

Though there are plenty meatless options out there that taste great, like TJ's soyrizo or Umami's mushroom and edamame veggie burger, none of them actually taste like meat, which is why PETA is hoping to create animal protiens in a labs, meaning it will be cruelty free. (We have to admit that it sounds like this could go the way of the genetically modified Frankenseeds that Monsanto is producing.)

The folks behind Twitter backed Beyond Meat, who managed to concoct a decent chicken substitute that even the likes of New York Times food critic Mark Bittman enjoyed. But aside from that, creating a substitute for a perfectly-seared steak is proving to be a tough task.

Says Gizmodo:

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"Today, when the vast majority of meat comes from energy-guzzling, environmentally damaging, downright cruel factory farms, eating meat in modern America amounts to a personal choice the same way smoking on airplanes used to be a personal choice. Sure, you can do it, but you're also screwing everyone else. Developing a technology to convincingly imitate meat benefits everyone—because really, deep down, who doesn't love a cheeseburger?"

So as many of you vegetarians fire up your grills for the Fourth of July, say a little prayer that by 2013, you might have a decent solution. For now, though, you'd be wise to hit up some of our favorite vegetarian-friendly restaurants in L.A.