Spam: it's not just nasty meat in a can. It's a leading economic indicator! Hormel has been selling the ground-up pig concoction for more than 70 years, and it's acquired quite a status as a gross American icon. Plus, economists have noticed that people seem to buy more cheap, crappy food products as the economy gets worse, and Spam's increasing popularity provides a nice hook for Freakonomics-type stories tying the whole miserable economic picture into the meat-purchasing choices of you, the consumer. Good theory, but, as Ad Age points out, it has one major flaw: Spam is not even cheap.
PETA, the animal rights group skilled at making potential supporters forget about its cause because of all the nude women writhing around at the anti-fur PR stunts, is putting up a million-dollar prize for the first researcher who comes up with a good way to make meat in test tubes. Ahhhhhh! Throwupthrowupthrowup. Intellectually, it's clear that test tube-bred animal tissue would be a good way to allow people to have their precious Slim Jims without actually killing cows, and would presumably be chemically similar to normal meat. But really, just the thought of eating "test tube meat"—god, it's painful to even type it. Can't wait for the marketing machine to get started on the euphemisms for that product (suggestions?). After the jump, two clips that sum up my feelings on this issue: The classic "Soylent Green" ingredients scene, and Jim Gaffigan's "Hot Pockets" routine—"How about we fill a pop tart with nasty (test tube) meat? You cook it in a sleeve thing. Dunk it in the toilet."