Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meatballs made from Human Fat

Using human fat isn't a new story, but there's something about all this that gets under our skin. First we heard about the Beverly Hills surgeon, Dr. Craig Alan Bittner, who used body fat taken from his patients during liposuction to fuel two SUVs. "The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel -- and I have more fat than I can use," Bittner wrote on his now closed web site.

Then a few years back we heard about Chilean-born artist Marco Evaristti who presented his friends with his creation, meatballs cooked with his own body fat, extracted by liposuction. On the plates in front of them was a serving of agnolotti pasta and in the middle, a meatball made with the fat that Evaristti had removed from his body.
He stages a dinner party with his meatball cans. Notably, the table was set for 13: as an allusion to the Last Supper.

The 48 meatballs cooked in his own body fat were available in cans of 10 meatballs, on sale for US$4000.
Two cans have already been sold to collectors for US$23,200 each.
He claimed that the meatballs were not only delicious, but contained less fat than supermarket meatballs.

Later he said, "The question of whether or not to eat human flesh is more important than the
result. You are not a cannibal if you eat art."

He says the work is about the sanctity of the body and an unhealthy modern obsession with food and weight loss.

"Firstly, I want to show people that meatballs made with my fat are no more disgusting than the meatballs you buy in the supermarket," he said.

"Secondly, it's a dialogue with a modern society that lives to eat, rather than eating to live as it should be.

"You eat, and when you're fat, you go to a clinic, have an operation, have your fat removed and you start to eat again."

When he displayed the piece in Chile, Evaristti invited 12 people to join him in eating the meatballs in a last supper.

How did they taste? "Even better than my grandmother's," he said.

If you hurry there may be a few cans left.