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Scientists Invent ‘Meaty’ Space Rice – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News

image of Scientists Invent ‘Meaty’ Space Rice – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News
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A lab in South Korea has created a special type of rice that researchers say could help countries suffering from famine – and even be used as space food. Its grains are coated with fish gelatine and contain lab-grown beef cells to make it meaty and packed with protein. It’s cheaper to make and more eco-friendly than regular beef, because growing cells in the lab means you don’t need to farm lots of animals.


It’s all very well using science to try to address food shortages and climate change but is growing food in a lab really the way forward? Does the idea of human-made food worry you? Shouldn’t we just be encouraging people to enjoy fruit and vegetables that already exist rather than trying to create new versions that mimic meat? Or do you think this is a brilliant idea? Isn’t it unrealistic to expect everyone to become voluntary vegetarians in time to save the planet? Would you happily eat burgers made from human-made ‘meaty rice’ if it helped to reverse food shortages and climate change? What do you think?

Writing skills

Write a short narrative extract in which a scientist, working in his or her laboratory, finally creates a miracle new food. Use your best descriptive language to set the scene – what you can see, hear and smell – and describe the scientist’s reaction when the finished product finally appears. Include another character such as a guest or a laboratory assistant if you think it would be helpful to include dialogue. Or Imagine that this news had somehow been conveyed to cows. Write a speech given by a bull to the rest of the beef herd, either celebrating or criticising this new discovery. Would they be relieved or concerned that their way of life was under threat? Make it as serious or humorous as you like but remember to include persuasive language including hyperbole and rhetorical questions.


Conduct research to try to answer this question: why have some animals evolved to eat meat when most other species survive perfectly well by eating only plants?

What is First News?

To find out more about how First News could help your school unlock the power of news-based learning, through high quality, weekly resources alongside the print and digital newspaper, visit the First News Education website.

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