Plushie LED glowing irradiated steaks

Plushie LED glowing irradiated steaks

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What’s better than a big juicy irradiated steak? Nothing is better than a big juicy irradiated steak. To illustrate some of the issues being raised with using radiation to kill bacteria, parasites, and mold Rebecca used an Arduino board to make these plushie steaks glow… code included – Link.


  • Arduino Fever – The tale of a cute, blue microcontroller that fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and the expanding community of developers who love and support it. MAKE 07 – Page 58.
  • Arduino, the Basic Stamp killer? – Link.
  • Make a meat reddening carbon monoxide fridge? – Link.

14 thoughts on “Plushie LED glowing irradiated steaks

  1. Sc00ter says:

    This is stupid, irradiating your food does not make it radioactive.

  2. pelrun says:

    It’s art, not a scientific paper – and as such it is perfectly valid to discuss people’s *perception* of things and not just the reality behind them.

    I’m wondering if all those righteously outraged people from the LED-enhanced stuffed rat entry are gonna descend on this one… :D

  3. hammerthumb says:

    This is an amusing but inaccurate representation of the harm. After following the links and filtering out the bias I conclude that the claimed danger is from irradiation causing reactions in the meat which result in the formation of potentially harmful chemicals.

    I imagine it would be a challenge to try and represent chemical changes in a way that the average gallery attendee would react with something other than a head scratch. Glow in the dark beef steak though – everyone will get it and have some sort of reaction.

  4. RussNelson says:

    Not irradiating your food exposes you to bacteria: a known risk. Irradiating your food exposes you to potentially harmful chemicals. Would you rather risk something known to be dangerous, or something which is not known to be dangerous? I’d put my bet on the uncertainty — because the risk might be zero, but probably isn’t greater than bacteria.

  5. proxykitten says:

    Love it. Anyone who wants to argue about whether or not this is an accurate representation of irradiated beef has totally missed the point. Becky, kick ASS! And thanks for the open source.

  6. hammerthumb says:

    RussNelson: “I’d put my bet on the uncertainty — because the risk might be zero, but probably isn’t greater than bacteria.”

    My thinking tends to lean this direction too. The referenced article (on has an irritating lack of direct citations to the studies they use to support their claim. How can I give thier position adequate consideration (not to mention spend hard earned money on grass-fed beef) without supporting data presented in an accessible format?

    All in all, it’s an interesting exhibit with plenty of info on its construction. I’m glad there are artists like Rebecca Stern who realise the added value in sharing how they create their art.

  7. dang_quesadilla says:

    It doesn’t matter if they’re the damn Raelians. The point is that someone MADE a cool project with plushie steaks and LEDs. This is still more appropriate for a site called MAKE than that mystery catamaran that was posted today.

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