Words for “in-vitro/​fake/​cultivated/​lab meat” used in Russian

(I am not a na­tive speaker, nor am I fluent, nor do I live in Rus­sia, but I found this in­ter­est­ing. If you know bet­ter, please cor­rect me.)

A Rus­sian lab that’s part of a large food man­u­fac­turer in Rus­sia (Очаковский комбинат пищевых ингредиентов) re­cently an­nounced they’d cre­ated a small piece of cul­ti­vated beef. This was cool news be­cause those of us fol­low­ing the news haven’t seen news of any cul­ti­vated meat de­vel­op­ments in Rus­sia since 2017.

What es­pe­cially in­ter­ested me is that an ar­ti­cle in In­ter­fax.ru (similar to the As­so­ci­ated Press in the US) used sev­eral differ­ent terms to re­fer to the meat.

  • мясо из пробирки (“meat from test tubes” or “test tube meat”). This is the most com­monly used term, and the one that peo­ple seem to know. See the rele­vant en­try on Wikipe­dia.ru.

  • искусственное мясо (“ar­tifi­cial meat” or “fake meat”). I’m not sure how pop­u­lar this is but the Wikipe­dia.ru ar­ti­cle men­tioned above in­cludes it as an al­ter­nate name. The edit his­tory of that ar­ti­cle says the first ver­sion was a trans­la­tion from the English ver­sion, and the English lan­guage ver­sion of the page from early Au­gust 2010 only men­tions “in vitro meat” and “cul­tured meat”, so I’m not sure where искусственное мясо (“ar­tifi­cial meat”) came from.

  • культивируемое мясо (“cul­ti­vated meat”). Also ap­pears in the Wikipe­dia en­try, start­ing from the 2010 en­try. I hadn’t seen this ac­tu­ally used any­where un­til this In­ter­fax.ru ar­ti­cle, where it’s used in a quote from the prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist Niko­lai Shi­manovsky, and searches on Yan­dex and Google don’t show older us­ages (though I might be miss­ing them). What’s crazy is that культивируемое мясо (“cul­ti­vated meat”) ap­pears to be the origi­nal Wikipe­dia.ru page au­thor’s term (again from 2010) for “cul­tured meat”, pos­si­bly be­cause there’s no good trans­la­tion for the word “cul­tured”. How fas­ci­nat­ing that this per­son in 2010 hit upon a Rus­sian ver­sion term just re­cently adopted by pro­po­nents in the US!

  • лабораторное мясо (“lab­o­ra­tory meat”). I’d never seen or heard this be­fore. It’s also used by the prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist Niko­lai Shi­manovsky.

As far as I know, most Rus­sian ac­tivists use the term “мясо из пробирки” (“test tube meat”) yet. It will be in­ter­est­ing if a co­or­di­nated effort starts around us­ing one of the other terms or a differ­ent one en­tirely.

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