Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mitochondrial Taste Test

An experiment to determine how much if any of a meats taste can be attributed to products of the mitochondria.
  [vote for,

Because I want to know (& it's an excuse to eat worms).

Clone earthworms using the hollowed out ovum of cows, sheep & pigs.

As they're hermaphrodites we'll only need two of each to get started.

Get your populations up to size then leave the worms in a bucket of water (separate buckets for each test group of course) overnight to flush their system.

Boil for five minutes (it's OK you're not being cruel, they all drowned in the buckets overnight), you may want to squeeze them first to get any residual soil out of them.

Boil a second time in fresh water.

Dice & mince them then form into patties.

Toss them on a griddle & fry them up.

Taste & record notes on the flavour.

Skewed, Oct 17 2019

Cynics Anonymous Cynics_20Anonymous
Actually, don't bother. There's no point. [8th of 7, Oct 17 2019]

Bolt Pistol https://en.wikipedi...Captive_bolt_pistol
WikipediA [Skewed, Oct 18 2019]

Home Slaughter https://www.busines...private-consumption
For [2 fries] [Skewed, Oct 18 2019]


       Good to see the post-Brexit preparations are in full swing. [+]   

       Humor aside, what is it you're testing here? Do worms not have mitochondria then, or what is it you're aiming to discover?
zen_tom, Oct 17 2019

       Just contrast the white meat Vs. the dark meat in chicken. The color difference isn't mitochondria, it's myoglobin which is used to shuttle O2 to mitochondria and is therefore a proportional marker of mitochondrial content.   

       You could also grow up some Rho0 cells, they're free of mitochondrial DNA. You could probably get a small burger together for a few $1000, human derrived cells though, so technically canibalism.
bs0u0155, Oct 17 2019

       OK, hold on a moment. If I understand correctly (it's happened before), you want to make worms that have cow mitochondria, and see if they taste cowy rather than wormy. Yes?   

       Well, OK, it might just work. One possible snag is that different organisms have different genes on their mitochondria. When mitochondria started out, they were endoparasitic bacteria; over time, they lost most of their genes to the hosts chromosomes, so now the proteins made by those genes need to be imported by the mitochondria. But a handful of genes remain on the mitochondrial DNA. In different species, the genes that remain on the mtDNA are a different subset of the ancestral genes. If this is the case for cows vs worms, you will have a problem because some genes will be duplicated (ie, a chromosomal copy and a mitochondrial copy) whilst some will be missing completely. The person we need at this moment is [bs0], who would probably know.   

       If the gene sets are compatible, though, it might work. I'm guessing that there will be different tweaks in worm mitochondria versus cow mitochondria, but the swap might work well enough to keep the worms alive.   

       As to whether there'd be a cowy taste on account of the cowine mitochondria, I'm thinking probably not.   

       As a simpler experiment, you could just bulk-prep mitochondria from cow; you'll get a sort of grey-brown smoothie. If it tastes of cow, that's a good sign.   

       [Hah! [bs0] annotated just before me.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 17 2019

       We all have mitochondria [zen], even worms, it's that little bit of DNA in the cell that isn't part of your nuclea / chromosomal DNA which is why it passes from mothers only.   

       Governs certain cell processes.
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       //it's that little bit of DNA in the cell wall that isn't part of your nuclea / chromosomal DNA// Not quite. Mitochondria are little organelles inside the cell, and they contain a bit of DNA. They're not part of a cell wall (which you won't have, unless you're a broccoli).
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 17 2019

       //you'll get a sort of grey-brown smoothie. If it tastes of cow, that's a good sign//   

       ROFL, cheers, I'll try it ;D you know how I can get some
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       //not part of a cell wall//   

       Oops, corrected, thanks for the heads up [Max].
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       //We all have mitochondria, it's that little bit of DNA in the cell wall//   

       "pffffffff... had the cowboys in I see? A big job this one, I'll have to clear all this out, level off and start from scratch, sure you want to save it? I'll have to clear my whole next week..."
bs0u0155, Oct 17 2019

       //what is it you're aiming to discover?//   

       Do different mitochondrial lines contribute in any noticeable way to the taste of the meat? worms are just the chosen vehicle for comparison..   

       I think that was it anyway.
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       Yes, that's how it usually begins; mere curiosity.   

       Before you know it, you'll have a lightning rod, a Secret Laboratory, a manservant called Igor, and a compulsion to collect body parts from graveyards.   

       If you find yourself muttering "The fools ! I'll crush them all ! " you should seek help. Immediately. One of [MB]'s "parents" left it too late, and we all know how that turned out ...
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019

       Just so I’ve got this clear: you’re suggesting cloning a worm by implanting it’s nuclear DNA in a cow’s egg, so that the resulting organism has bovine mitochondrial DNA, and then eat it to see if it’s the mitochondrial or nuclear DNA that make the proteins that taste either “wormy” or “cowy”?   

       That’s disgusting, technically flawed, and ethically dubious. Go for it! [+]
Frankx, Oct 17 2019

       //a manservant called Igor//   

       Well that's OK then, no need to worry, he's not been called that for years, not since he changed it by deed poll.   

       //That’s disgusting, technically flawed, and ethically dubious//   


       Why thank you, it's nice to feel appreciated.
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       Why do you need an excuse to eat worms?
pocmloc, Oct 17 2019

       I don't 'need' one, I just want one.
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       And you want God-like power over Life and Death too, don't you ? No point in denying it ...
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019

       Sure but I can give it up any time, honest.
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       //God-like power over Life and Death// Oh, puhlease. God- like power has been waning for the last century or more. We're much more ambitious these days.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 17 2019

       Go easy on the kid, he's clearly just starting out.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019

       Don't let it worry you, it's perfectly normal - and there's an organization to help you if you think you have a problem ... <link>
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019

       On reading the title I thought that this was going to be about using mitochondria to determine how something is going to taste so that an AI could learn to cook.   

       This is more vermiculinary.   


       Rat ona stick sir? first squeeze of tomato sauce free, 10p a squeeze after.
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       No, but thank you all the same. Would you care for a taste of my Gecko tail deep fried in hemp seed oil?
Ethically and sustainably harvested you know...

       Have you tried marketing that to the 'ethical vegetarian' market yet?   

       "It's meat! But nothing died!"   

       [Very small print]   

       "Accept the live crickets the gecko eats to replace its tail"   

       [Very small print/]
Skewed, Oct 17 2019

       //No, but thank you//   

       You sure sir, it's very nearly fresh, almost certainly caught only last night, see, no maggots, I tell you what, I'll throw in a free spoon of chutney..
Skewed, Oct 18 2019

       I'm surprised it's not already a thing.
Lots of critters can regenerate limbs, mmmmm, roasted tarantula leg anyone?
Even your worms could be harvested without killing if you chopped off less than half of the right end.

       But is it more, or less cruel?   

       I've been thinking a lot about killing lately. No no, not in that way. It's just, I've yet to kill anything bigger than a hornet and I'm considering farming. "I" will be the one to do any slaughtering so I tried to think of the most humane method.   

       So far the best I've come up with is to give the critters the life O'Riley but also that feeding time means going to individual sound-proof stalls and poking your head through that hole over there at the far end.   

       That way if you are doing individual culls or the whole flock at once... when the guillotine falls it's quick, painless and anything still running around the yard afterwards just wonder where their buddies went.   

       No stress hormones.   

       //guillotine //   

       You'll need somewhere with good drainage to hang them while they drain.   

       And probably best to use the traditional boltgun so you don't have to swab down each stall as well.   

       Not sure you can do your own slaughter these days though? at least not without some sort of permit requiring facility & equipment inspections? not in the UK anyway? Grandad used to farm (small holding not the big comercial thing) & he never killed his own, accept the ducks & chickens..   

       But he was squeamish (even had me kill the mallards when he had too many of them rather than do it himself), so maybe that was just him.
Skewed, Oct 18 2019

       //somewhere with good drainage//   

       You might want to collect the blood as well, especially if it's pigs, there's a market for it somewhere, black puddings etc.
Skewed, Oct 18 2019

       //without some sort of permit//   

       Ah, OK, apparently it's 'technically' no you don't but yes you kind of do, maybe? you may need a certificate of competence [linky].   

       We never needed anything like that when I worked at Cobbs, but that was only chickens, & more'n three decades back.
Skewed, Oct 18 2019

       You can slaughter your own livestock for personal consumption... you just can't sell it to others. If you're squeamish you can call in mobile units to do your slaughter for you but for resale the animals must be taken to a certified facility.
Yes, drainage and a clamp.

       What are the current rules about how you slaughter it if it's for personal use & consumption? the same or more relaxed?
Skewed, Oct 18 2019

       Here in Canada? Your own family farm?... your critters? Personal consumption is just that then. Personal.
Try to sell your produce and it's a whole other deal.

       Lobby groups far as the eye can see...   

       Ah, Canada, things may not be the same here in the UK.
Skewed, Oct 18 2019

       In Canada, things are indeed Very Different.
8th of 7, Oct 18 2019

       On the map, Canada looks much, much bigger than any of the other States.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 18 2019

       That's because the boundary had to be drawn with wax crayon; they lack the manual dexterity to manipulate sophisticated technology like pens and spoons.
8th of 7, Oct 18 2019

       It's all true, our mittens make stuff hard to do good.
It's all just igloos, dog sleds, hockey, and beer.

       Nobody in their right mind would ever want to live here. We throw our babies in the snow at three months old and whichever of them make it back to the porch gets to live. We then toss them in frigid lakes at ten months old to learn to swim and you'd be surprised at the number of the little beggars from the snow crawl group who make it to shore.
Don't ask about the manhood rights. You don't want to know.

       It just gets worse from there.
We only have maple syrup for sweetener, which that runs out shortly after the week long period we call spring... and then it's time for autumn again.
You wouldn't like it. It's probably best to just stay put.

       In the forests (and there are a lot of forests) there are large, very dangerous carnivorous creatures, covered in dense, coarse fur, with huge teeth and claws. Now and again, the park rangers have to dart some of them and remove them to an area where they can't harm humans - usually an ice rink. Then they give them big sticks and provoke them to attack one another while a crowd of spectators bays for blood. This is called "NHL".   

       Sometimes they get a bear by mistake, but it tends to go unnoticed, except the bears don't smell as bad and have better table manners.
8th of 7, Oct 18 2019

       ...and then there's the beavers!
Sure they're wild, free, and fun to ride, but they're nasty unshaven stinky things with teeth that can cleave a hard shaft in twain if'n the sap's up.
The cougars are friendlier but they'll eat you alive.

       //Do different mitochondrial lines contribute in any noticeable way to the taste of the meat? worms are just the chosen vehicle for comparison//   

       So, having had a bit of a think about this, and having a 10 minute incubation, I think I can shed a bit of light. The answer is: possibly, probably not... how much funding is available?   

       The difference between mitochondria from two different animal species can be huge, largely depending on which bit of the animal you got them from. Mitos are very, very dynamic though. In cells they're fusing and dividing all the time and they don't care if they fuse with mitos from other cells. Then you get a mixed/blended population of mitochondria with copies of two separate, but similar in most animals, mitochondrial genomes.   

       I believe, that one will eventually outcompete the other, for reasons not fully established*. Ultimately those genomes are the only identifiers of the origin, the difference between mitochondria is derrived from cell differentiation. Human/Pig/Mouse muscle is largely indistinguishable in H&E stained sections, in TEM sections and even in microscopy evaluations of mitochondrial function, but pig muscle is Very different in terms of mitochondrial morphology and function from say pig skin fibroblasts.   

       I reckon you could swap out cow mtDNA for human/pig/mouse/sheep and it would be indistinguishable. Some mtDNA does make for "leaky" mitos however, even between humans, like sub-saharan african populations vs. northern europe, where populations subjected to cold-stresses got leakier mitos to generate a little more heat. Maybe the least leaky/most efficient mitos could be useful in the meat industry... of warm places.   

       *saw a talk about how some mutant mtDNAs are great at replicating crap at functioning
bs0u0155, Oct 22 2019

       //saw a talk about how some mutant mtDNAs are great at replicating crap at functioning// I remember reading that some cells end up having only mitochondria with massive deletions in their DNA, or no DNA at all. The null mitochondria apparently last a very long time because they don't accumulate the oxidative damage of their hard- working siblings, and so they eventually take over the cell.   

       Such cells survive by a sort of lactic sleight of hand, creating little acidic microenvironments. If cells can swap mitochondria, that would be significant because these non- functioning, fast-replicating, non-dying mitochondria would take over neighbouring cells.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 22 2019

       Wouldn't this be totally down to the ratio of weight of food vector to mitochondria?, unless mitochondria are orders of magnitude tastier. A tasteless plant vector, such as Chokos, might be the way to go if transplanted mitochondrial numbers could be boosted to normative human tasting levels.
wjt, Oct 25 2019


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