Kass: How would you like that in vitro burger?

I refuse to live in a world without spits and coals and tasty real critters

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Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass and reporter Jenniffer Weigel talk the world's first test tube burger, which was cooked and eaten on Monday for the culmination of a five-year science experiment. (Posted on: August 7, 2013)

In the hideous and foreseeable future, let's consider a columnist who loves to barbecue.

He wants to put on an authentic pork roast for his readers in the middle of August, eat with them, talk with them, drink with them. Just for the sake of argument, let's call it Cooking with Kass.

Rather than visit a butcher shop or packing house, he enters a laboratory. There he grabs a couple of giant tubs of in vitro meat grown from stem cells and colored with red beetroot juice.

Onto the spit he forms that horrid goo into the shape of a pig. Or he might fashion it into the shape of a recognizable political figure, or even some creepy children's action figure.

Then he lights the coals, roasts the in vitro meat, and voila, an "authentic" pig roast.

This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends.

"In the future, if that ever does happen I would advise people to run, just run as fast as they can," said chef Louis Dourlain of Kendall College.

But we're talking Cooking with Kass.

Not Cloning with Kass.

Dourlain and the students of Kendall are helping me with a roast for my readers Aug. 17.

We'll serve beer and wine, pork and sides, and answer questions from readers. Two colleagues who help me with the column — William Lee, aka "Old School," and editor Mark Jacob — will be there to blackmail me with my embarrassing secrets.

We'll have whole real pigs on spits, pigs that once walked the Earth, not pigs from a glass tube "birthed" by some scientist sows.

As Dourlain and I discussed the work ahead — brining the whole real pigs in cider and brown sugar and molasses and starting the coals long before dawn — the subject of Frankenstein meat came up.

Surely you've heard about this abomination funded in part by Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google.

Scientists in a London lab took stem cells from cows and turned that into muscle strips. Now they hope their glop may one day feed people without all that earthy livestock business.

But before their sick dreams are realized, I hope I'm dead, because I refuse to live in a world without spits and coals and tasty real critters.

"When I'm thinking roast pork, the words 'stem cell' don't excite me in the least," Dourlain told me. "Synthetic pig? At no point should that sound like something you'd ever want to eat."

Of course, chef. But we're in a death spiral, with synthetic meat and synthetic life. It's all part of some grand evil plan to replace real life with virtual life. The involvement of the Google master only confirms this terrible truth.

If you only opened your eyes to see, you would witness virtual life replacing that old-fashioned "real life" thing.

Virtual sports on video games. Virtual dating over the Internet. Virtual love on Twitter, even an app signaling you that a potential date is within 50 feet of your position. Virtual women of ill repute. Virtual gambling. Virtual voter registration — yes, that's the law now in Illinois, pushed by ethically pristine Cook County.

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