EAT MY MEAT
You are what you eat
Scientists and designers in the United States have made this saying all too literal with the conceptualisation of the Ouroboros Steak. Named after the ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail, the Ouroboros Steak is a DIY meal kit that comes with everything you need to grow a steak from your own cells.
No, you didn’t read that wrong — you would literally be eating yourself.
I cannibal-ieve it
For now, the Ouroboros Steak only exists as a prototype, currently on display at the Design Museum in Kensington, London, as part of the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibit. The idea is that the diner would collect and harvest cells from the inside of their cheek, and then grow a meal from those cells over the course of 3 months or so.
The cells would need to be regularly fed serum derived from expired donated blood (which can also be found in the kit, so you don’t have to go dead body hunting).
It was designed as a critique of the lab-grown meat industry, which apparently isn’t as sustainable and cruelty-free as it claims to be. But while the Ouroboros Steak challenges the ethics of lab-grown meat, others have concerns over its own ethicality — namely, whether or not eating one would be akin to cannibalism (the creators of the Ouroboros Steak insist that it isn’t).
A cultured diet
Neither lab-grown animal meat nor home-grown human meat has been approved for consumption anywhere in the world. However, the cultured meat market is set to grow exponentially due to the ever-growing concern over the sustainability of rearing livestock for human consumption.
In Singapore, Shiok Meats is currently working on bringing cell-based shrimp, crab, and lobster into the commercial market. The main issue for all similar companies worldwide lies in their production costs.
Last year, the cost of producing a single Shiok Meats Siew Mai was a whopping S$150. It’s going to be awhile before cell-based meat becomes available to everyone everywhere but who knows, someday we might all be growing meat in the comfort of our own homes (hopefully I’ll be better at that than I am at growing plants).
5 Singaporean stories to catch up on
1️⃣ Live long and prosper: Singapore’s life expectancy is one of the highest in the world.
2️⃣ Warning! This weight loss product has been found to contain laxatives and banned substances.
3️⃣ Mosquitos vs. Virus: More people have died from dengue than COVID-19 in Singapore this year.
4️⃣ Got a prescription from SGH? You can now get it filled at selected Guardian outlets.
5️⃣ Local keto eats: CNA has released a guide on how to eat at hawker centres without breaking ketosis.
And 5 facts to spice up your life:
1️⃣ When was the last time you picked up a pen? Studies show that writing by hand can increase productivity.
2️⃣ Deck the halls! Putting up holiday decorations early can have a positive effect on mental health.
3️⃣ Technological medicine: Here are 5 ways technology has improved mental health this year.
4️⃣ Overshadowed by COVID: WHO reports other major health crises from 2020.
5️⃣ Out of this world: New research shows what happens to astronauts’ bodies while they’re in space.
OH KALE, NO
We’ve got some berry bad news
A recent study has shown that vegans and vegetarians are more likely to suffer bone fractures than those of us who eat meat. The study was really quite comprehensive and looked at almost 55,000 adults from the UK over a period of about 10 years.
The results showed that 43% of vegans had a higher risk of bone fractures throughout the body than meat eaters, especially in the hips, legs, and vertebrae. Vegetarians and pescatarians were also at risk, but to a smaller extent than vegans.
The problem is that vegan diets tend to lack protein and calcium, which are the two major components of bone. Even if their diets seem to indicate sufficient calcium and protein intake on paper, protein and calcium from plants are actually harder for us to absorb than those from animals.
Additionally, vegans tend to have lower BMIs, which means that there’s less cushioning during falls. (See? Thick thighs can save lives!)
It’s going Tibia kay
Of course, the vegan diet has its merits as well. The health benefits of going vegan include weight control and lower cholesterol levels. Beyond that, it’s also much more sustainable and better for the environment. Plus, you get to save all the cute cows and pigs and chicken out there.
If you’re vegan or considering making the switch to a vegan lifestyle, here are some tips on how to get all the calcium and protein that you need:
To increase your calcium intake, look out for plant-based milk or yoghurt alternatives, and leafy vegetables like kale or broccoli. Fruits and nuts can also be great sources of calcium. If it’s protein you’re looking for, tofu is always an easy option, and quinoa is great because it’s a complete protein, containing all 22 amino acids.
Supplements can also be used to balance out a vegan diet, but you might want to consult a dietician in order to understand which type you should be taking. In the meantime, check out this guide on taking supplements in Singapore to see if it could be an option for you!
Weird & Wonderful
- Mermaids never have to add salt to their food.
- You can still fail an eye exam even though they give you all the answers.
- If you believe in reincarnation, a womb is a respawn point.
- Hair is so much grosser when it’s not attached to anyone.
- A gym is an IRL RPG game where people’s progress is shown by how buff they are.
More exercise needed, says WHO
The WHO has updated their physical activity guidelines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on almost everybody in the world.
Given that being overweight might cause a greater risk of severe illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19, the WHO hopes to minimize the negative impact of the virus by encouraging everyone to exercise more. In fact, the WHO asserts that up to 5 million deaths a year could be prevented if everyone was more physically active.
Under the new guidelines, the WHO recommends a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of aerobic activity per week. This is an increase from the previous recommendation of 75 to 150 minutes per week. The updated guidelines also include recommendations for those with chronic conditions or disabilities.
Here in Singapore, we have less restrictions than most, so there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing a couple of friends (no more than 4, please!) and heading to the gym or the park. If you have any questions about health and fitness, check out our Q&A page on the topic!