Can the end of the world be near?

The world as we know it may just have ended and I don’t think I’m going to stand for it.

There was a report on the tube about this guy who has just grown a hamburger in a Petri dish. He took some stem cells, got them growing in some culture in the lab, mixed in some sawdust and spices, and for a mere $350,000 produced something that looked like a typical fast-food restaurant burger, which bears little resemblance to a real hamburger to start with.

Do these people have no shame? I think they are probably the same ones who killed milk.

When I was a kid, one of my multiple jobs was to take the gallon milk can and walk to the neighbor’s farm a half mile down the road every day after supper. Since this was in the real upstate New York within spitting distance of Canada, the sun went down about 1:30 in the afternoon in the winter. The road was through some spooky pine woods and paved with about six inches of sand.

There were always unidentified sounds coming out of the dark and I’m sure that a lesser child would have never been able to summon up the resolve it took to make that trip.

Thinking about it now, that might explain why I chewed my fingernails down to the quick into my early 30s.

Anyway, I made that trip every night faithfully because we needed the milk and that milk was delicious enough to make risking life and limb seem worth it. It was fresh raw milk, the kind that kids and calves had been drinking for centuries. You had to shake the bottle or stir it well because the cream floated to the top.

I do now admit to not shaking or stirring the milk before putting it on my morning oatmeal. Oatmeal, fresh cream and brown sugar is the closest thing to dessert that a kid can get away with at breakfast.

Modern-day whole milk tastes nothing like the real thing. It’s been irradiated and beaten to within an inch of its life so not a single cream droplet would dare to separate itself from the herd and float to the top.

They’ve even got some milk that’s been so altered you can keep a carton of it in the pantry for months without spoiling. I bought some of it for our cat once. She wouldn’t drink it. She’s always been a smart little animal.

Cowless beef will probably catch on, and then they’ll start on chickenless chicken and pigless pork. Farms will be replaced by labs. Cowboys will be replaced by the guys from the Big Bang Theory. No more cowboy hats, spurs or saddles, all replaced with lab coats, vinyl gloves and computers.

Markets will start carrying different kinds of stem cells so you can grow your own meat at home, making it as tender or tough as you want. There would be a demand for cupcake tins in the shape of the meat you’d like to grow; drumstick shapes, round nugget shapes, pork chop shapes. There could be big round tins for roasts, or some shaped like turkeys or hams for the holidays.

Farm animals will no longer be necessary and since there would be no profit in raising them, they will go wild or be kept as pets. Nursing homes for old animals will appear and be paid for by Farm Aid concerts given by Willie Nelson.

Real food like we have today will disappear.

I guess I better enjoy it before it goes. I’m going to make a BLT. I have some fresh turkey bacon and hydroponic tomatoes and lettuce grown without dirt or natural sunlight. They’re organic so they must be good.

Thought for the week — The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same sized bucket.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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