Urgent announcement

With any luck and some diligent investment, liquid meat will soon be a staple on your supermarket shelf.

That’s right, liquid meat is poised to make its breakthrough--it's just a matter of when.

Usually, when you heat a cut of meat in, say, an oven or BBQ, and the temperature gets too high, the meat will burn: black, charred, inedible. Nasty. All of us have witnessed this tragic phenomenon; such is the nature of conventional cooking and chemical reactions. You heat it too much, and meat burns.

On the other hand, there are those among us who wish for meat to melt when heated; not burn. I for one would love to liquefy a cow and serve it up for dinner, to consume a flank shake, not a flank steak. Liquid meat: the mere thought waters my mouth. And I wouldn't be alone in this. Who wouldn’t love to come home after a hard day facing the world, knock back a pint or two of quarter-chicken-dinner--in liquid form--and let loose with a foghorn poultry belch? You know, swig some pig, suck the goose juice, etc? Sure sounds tasty to me.

And yet it seems this liquid meat is still just a dream of ours; a foodstuff forestalled. We remain unquenched.

Purees, admittedly, have been tried. But a puree is mostly solid meat bits chopped up real small; the water oozes out, and the resulting mush is but a gooey facade, an empty vessel parched of liquidity. No, I won’t settle for the ‘watery meat’-liness of a puree: it’s just not the same as true liquid. I want my meat to have a milk-like consistency and viscosity. I want to be able to pour a leg of lamb out of a carafe, to see it flow like wine (wine--that most seductive liquid, but far from liquid meat).

Friends and associates have encouraged me to cultivate these notions, and I have profited from their wisdom. For instance my colleague Jen offered an interesting alternative—what about ‘alcoholic beef’? She said to me, “If you can’t liquefy a cow, Pat, isn’t fermentation the next best thing?” Hmm, a canny insight, Jen. Yet I remain idealistic; I shall not settle for mere meat-flavoured beer--t'would be a poor second cousin to the genuine liquid article.

Basic science informs us that for all substances there are three physical states: solid, liquid, and gas. The parameters of our meaty conundrum fall within the realm of the solid (the resting state of the meat) and the liquid (the desired state)—this much is obvious. How to go about it then? How to get animal flesh to liquefy, and not burn?

The answer to this riddle lies, like so many others, beneath the surface of the earth's vast oceans. To make our liquid dreams a reality, we must construct deep-sea ‘meat liquefaction vents’, down at the bottom of our ocean beds. The key to obtaining liquid meat is in exploiting the simple but powerful equation: PV=NRT (see appendix A ; this is known as the Ideal Gas Equation; it holds also for liquids under certain conditions). Only under situations of extreme barometric pressure, in the order of GIGA-pascals—such as only exists at the ocean floor—will bovine liquefaction be possible.

Under such deep-sea pressure, a cut of meat might NOT burn when heated, but instead it might very well melt into a delicious, healthy and profitable protein ooze—to be transported, bottled and then resold in grocery stores the world over. Liquid meat could thusly be enjoyed by all consumers--by you, by me--as often and guiltlessly as we like. Everyone wins.

For a detailed explanation of what an underwater meat-juicing contraption would entail, click my new web column at www.liquidmeat.com. I leave you with this inspirational mantra:

“Let us build amid the oceans deep, and one day drink of liquid meat.”

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