Recently, a mysterious start up “Bite Labs” announced plans to grow meat made from the DNA found in celebrity tissue samples and turn it into salami. Mmmm, famous human flesh.
Though the desire to eat your favorite celebrity may seem outlandish and the sales of all human tissue is heavily regulated, this specific flavor of cannibalism is previously explored territory. It is essentially the plot of Brandon Cronenberg’s acclaimed satirical sci-fi thriller Antiviral.
So, what’s to freak out about? We’ve already decided which celebrities we’d eat first. The only difference between Cronenberg’s dystopian sci-fi vision and Bite Lab’s “salami” is that they’re claiming to be serious. Using “biopsied myoblast cells” BiteLabs will “grow healthy, rich, meats in Bite Labs’ own bioreactors” and produce “fine charcuterie” like “smoky, sexy, and smooth” James Franco salami with “a charming hint of lavender.”
Yet, when Motherboard inquired about the salami, someone who only identified himself as “Kevin from Bite Labs” skitted between serious-sounding talk about bioethics and tongue-in-cheek statements. Specifically: “We are interested in the way celebrity culture is consumed.” Consumed, like, food, because you’re going to eat them. Get it? Start-ups!
Is Bite Labs prophesying a possible future, conducting an elaborate prank to parody the questionable morality of start-up culture and bioethics or simply “biting” Cronenberg Jr’s concept? A modest proposal: It couldn’t hurt to start thinking about what would taste good in a Kanye sandwich.