Mar 7, 2008
Yossarian News Press release, Feb 29, 2008 - It was a matter of time before someone found the right combination. It was Almont Utterban and his mixed team of scientists at Tyson Foods International that got there first - the creation of a boneless, skinless living chicken, appropriately called in the food industry a chicken-slug. "Actually, it does have a skin of sorts, but it's practically indistinquisable from the meat itself," admitted Utterban in a press conference, "but it definitely is boneless where it counts."
The animal, a product of several years of recombinant DNA work and now a registered patent of Tyson Foods International, actually does have a thin-walled skull and a rudimentary cartiledge-like appendage protecting its lungs and other vital organs. These are considered ancillary in the food processing industry because with one well-placed cut, the head, digestive and other support systems can be removed from the saleable portion of the "bird."
And bird it is not. Without feathers or bones, it is capable of only the most simple muscular movement. "If it doesn't walk like a chicken, and doesn't look like a chicken, then it isn't a chicken," stated Gill Murmount of the (Processed Edible Chicken Kitchens) East Coast Chicken Processors Guild denounced. "This is not going to affect the chicken processing industry in the least," he continued, "because the FDA is not going to approve of an animal that has less than 92% of the original DNA, and label it a 'chicken'."
But Tyson executives have high hopes. They have conducted many public taste test trials using the new chicken slug and regular animals and say that they have found very little ability for the public to discern the difference. In fact, according to their published statistics, many people preferred the chicken slug to regular chicken meat indicating that it had more flavor. This creates the only problem in the taste tests for Tysons, who admit that the industry giants, such as McDonalds and other fast-food industries, aren't much interested in the actual taste, but in the consistancy of that taste, no matter how bland. "It seems that a few of our birds are gourmet," kidded Utterban.
But there's a bigger problem. The current cost of production and preparation of the chicken-slug is still over 15 times that of current farm-bred chickens. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is that the animal is sterile. It has to be created in existing fertile chicken eggs and is still a very laboratory-intensive process. "The animal lacks both reproductive and egg-making organs." smiled Utterban, "The industry will find ways of making production automated, I'm sure. And be sure that McDonaldÕs is watching what we're doing with keen interest. If we get the animal's growth and development price metrics down to comparable units, it will reduce production and processing time and cost by 1/5th the current cost. Plus, as they grow, they sort of look like chicken McNuggets already."
I wonder if they're designed in the 5 different shapes of the chicken mcnuggets. And i've heard that the industry is working on a separate egg-producing animal that looks a lot more like a termite queen than a chicken. See? Screwing around with DNA benefits everyone!