A new website called BiteLabs allegedly aims at growing meat from the tissue samples of celebrities Jennifer Lawrence, James Franco, Kanye West and Ellen DeGeneres, thus promoting a sort of cannibalism. According to the startup’s website, its aim is to create artisanal salami made of both celebrity and animal meats. The website was created last month, but a crusade on social media began on February 25. The odd, possibly fake website used Twitter as a method of talking celebrities and journalists into getting on board of “the future of celebrity meat.” BiteLabs wishes to bring together celebrity, culture and meats in its attempt to make a new eco-friendly and healthy artisanal salami.
Motherboard and Kotaku were among the first to exchange emails with the creator of the startup and while his identity, as well as his team’s, remains a secret. The creator simply signed “Kevin” to his email. In a dialogue with Motherboard, “Kevin from BiteLabs” explained the idea of growing meat from celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and is aware of the possibility that people could think the website promotes cannibalism.
“We have reasons to remain anonymous at the moment due to the controversial nature of our product,” Kevin told Motherboard. “We’re a very small team right now (less than 5).”
BiteLabs accepts and embraces people’s skepticism, but at the same time sticks to the primary goal, namely “to create public dialogue about around the potential for commercially available lab-grown meat.”
The startup explains the process which produces celebrity meat, starting with top quality ingredients and fine recipes and ending with spices and fat. The meats are grown in BiteLabs’ bioreactors and it all starts with “biopsied myoblast cells” that are turned into fine meat. While the startup admitted that it has taken the idea from Google Burger, it has changed the type of tissue samples to fit its needs, namely to grow meat from celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and transform the tissue samples into salami.
So far, BiteLabs wishes to convince four celebrities to offer their tissue samples with the help of its public: James Franco, Jennifer Lawrence, Kanye West and Ellen DeGeneres.
According to the startup’s website, the James Franco salami should be sexy, smoky and smooth and his meat is best paired with venison, peppercorns and caramelized onions, while Jennifer Lawrence’s meat goes best with rabbit and pork. Notes of honey, ginger and orange zest will complete this celebrity’s salami.
Kanye West must be combined with pork, Hungarian paprika, Worcestershire sauce and hints of jalapeno, while Ellen DeGeneres is complemented by ostrich meat, mustard, black pepper and garlic.
When Kotaku asked about the celebrities’ royalties on the salami, Kevin from BiteLabs answered that the startup will negotiate the deal personally, “if a celebrity supports the idea.”
Although the dialogue between the creator of the website and journalists highlighted the fact that the former seems serious about growing meat from Jennifer Lawrence and unintentionally promoting cannibalism, BiteLabs could prove to be a hoax. One of the issued raised by the startup was that “meat production today is simply unsustainable,” and that this idea is eco-friendly and healthy, which could mean this is nothing more than a good marketing move or awareness campaign of an established company. No further details have been provided, but no celebrity has accepted being turned into salami just yet.
By Gabriela Motroc