Cultured Meat

Cultured Meat

cultured meat

Two friends discuss grass-fed meat. The Grammar focus is on Comparatives.

Karsten: “This hamburger looks good.”
Wyatt: “Very fresh. Good price, too.”
Karsten: “Is it organic?”
Wyatt: “You mean free-range, grass-fed? I doubt it. There’s usually a label showing it’s grass-fed. And it would be much more expensive.”
Karsten: “But if not, should we eat it?”
Wyatt: “I don’t care.”
Karsten: “But they do things to cows that are bad for your health.”
Wyatt: “Like what?”
Karsten: “They give them growth hormones, antibiotics, all kinds of things. Not to mention their living conditions.”
Wyatt: “You’re probably right.”
Karsten: “I don’t feel like cooking. Let’s go get something from Taco Bell.”
Wyatt: “That sounds much better.”


Free-range means permitted to graze or forage rather than being confined to a feedlot. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Grass-fed means having fed since weaning primarily on grasses rather than on grains. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Growth hormones means any of various synthetic hormones that promote growth of the body. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Living conditions means standard of living. Here the idea is whether the animals are brutalized in cramped enclosures or live more happily grazing over an expanse of land. See online Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Comparatives

The base form in making a one-syllable adjective comparative is with -er: tall, taller; soon, sooner. Adjectives of three or more syllables generally use the periphrastic more to make a comparison. In our dialogue, we have: expensive, more expensive. Therefore the sentence: “Grass-fed beef would be much more expensive.”


Two friends discuss cultured meat. The Grammar focus is on Complementation.

Alice: “What do you call meat that goes ‘Moo!’?”
Bonnie: “A cow, I guess.”
Alice: “Right on. What if it doesn’t go ‘Moo’?”
Bonnie: “A dead cow.”
Alice: “Wrong. It’s cultured meat. The FDA cleared it as safe for human consumption.”
Bonnie: “I saw that report last week, but I thought it was cultured chicken, not beef. Some company in Berkeley.”
Alice: “Upside Foods. They’re calling this a watershed moment in the history of food.”
Bonnie: “Not sure I want to try it.”
Alice: “It’s grown directly from animal cells. We can save the planet if we cut back on methane emission from cows.”
Bonnie: “Do they really fart that much?”
Alice: “One cow produces about 220 pounds of methane annually. Multiply that by a billion cows in the world. And that methane is 80 times worse than carbon dioxide for trapping heat in the atmosphere. It’s an extremely potent greenhouse gas.
Bonnie: “Who would have thought cows could bring down civilization by floating an air biscuit.
Alice: “I want our fans to know the facts.”
Bonnie: “Will you eat cultured animal cells?”
Alice: “I won’t be the first past the post. But maybe eventually.”
Bonnie: “I guarantee it won’t be in grocery stores soon.”


Right on is slang used as an exclamation of encouragement, support or enthusiastic agreement. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Cultured meat is meat produced by in vitro cell culture of animal cells, instead of from slaughtered animals. It is a form of cellular agriculture. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Watershed moment means a moment of critical importance that marks a dramatic change of course for a particular situation or activity. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Cut back is a phrasal verb which means to reduce or decrease. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Greenhouse gas is a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Bring down means to cause an object or structure to collapse or fall apart. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Float an air biscuit is slang for fart. See online Idioms Dictionary.
First past the post in a race means they finish first or achieve something first. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Complementation

“I want our fans to know the facts.” There are many different kinds of complements, including ordinary that-complements, subjunctive complements, infinitive complements, and gerund complements, and each one can be broken down into other forms and substructures. This particular sentence from our dialogue is a typical infinitive complement.

To be clear, a complement is something needed to complete the meaning of a verb, adjective or noun. In our dialogue sentence, Alice states “I want our fans …” and an infinitive clause can complete the meaning here and will therefore be the “clause-within-a-clause” part (the embedded clause) that completes the sentence: “I want our fans to know the facts.

With want-type infinitive complements either the subject or the object of the main clause becomes the subject of the infinitive:

“I want to purchase this car.” –> Subject of main clause becomes subject of infinitive.
“I want him to purchase the tickets.” –>Object (him) becomes the subject of the infinitive.

Sometimes in the second case, the object is introduced with for:

“I want for him to purchase the tickets.”
“I intend for Martha to wash the car.”

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