A lot of weird stuff shows up on the Internet, but Bite Labs is really, really weird. The site claims to be collecting tissue samples from celebrities, isolating the muscle stem cells, growing celebrity meat in "proprietary bioreactors," and then turning it into artisanal salami. Wut?
From the BiteLabs' website:
We mix celebrity and animal meats, grown in house through a proprietary culturing process, into curated salami blends. Our process yields high-quality, luxury protein, in a sustainable manner that eliminates the environmental and ethical concerns associated with traditional livestock production.
Yup. No obvious ethical concerns here. Nothin' to see. This must be a hoax, right? Or a marketing campaign that wants to go viral (in which case we're helping). So far the BiteLabs Tumblr isn't revealing much. Neither is #EatCelebrityMeat.
Some people are suggesting that it parodies the look and exuberance of startups.
Others are pointing to the viral marketer ThunderClap for some reason. And note that ThunderClap actually favorited one of these tweets.
Or it could just be the North Korean government's plan to resolve food shortages while proving to the world that the oligarchy can compete in the competitive startup world. Whatever it is, the whole concept has kind of tarnished salami forever, which is a damn shame.
Update, Feb. 26, 6:20 p.m.: According to "Kevin" from the BiteLabs team the site is partly a commentary on food culture, the ethics of meat, and "the way celebrity culture is consumed." But the part about making celebrity meat is real. He writes:
To develop Celebrity Meat, we're working with a group of bio-engineers and food designers, most of which have requested to remain anonymous due to the controversial nature of the product ...
At the moment, I believe Jennifer Lawrence and James Franco are pretty neck and neck in terms of who has been tweeted at the most. We've gotten some responses from people offering us biopsies, but no one on the level of our big 4 yet. Most of the responses have been very positive, but of course some people are a bit uncomfortable with idea of BiteLabs--we think that's only to be expected when we talk about pushing the boundaries of tech and society.
The group is using ThunderClap for marketing, which means that when they generate enough buzz, ThunderClap will do a timed Facebook and Twitter blast to "create a wave of attention."
Kevin told Motherboard that, "The product is indeed salami," and that each one will have about 30 percent celebrity meat and 40 percent lab-grown animal meats along with fat and spices. This is getting intense. More updates as we get them.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.