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At one time it seemed like a wild notion, but these days the idea of lab-grown meat might be OK, offering a sustainable and animal friendly choice for the future. Is slaughter-free hamburger and steaks grown from cultured cells a logical way to feed our growing population and curb environmental damage? Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, a writer and historian and MIT visiting scholar in anthropology, spent five years researching and delving into these questions, and more. Wurgaft tells the complex story in a thoughtful way in his book “Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food.” On Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store, you can meet Wurgaft, who will read passages from the book and discuss some of its major themes — the definition of meat, the ethics of eating other animals, and the question of whether we should place hope for social change in technology. A Cambridge native, Wurgaft wrote for years about European intellectual history and more recently about food for various magazines. He says, “I sensed that cultured meat would help me to connect my interests, finding paths from the frontiers of food technology back to philosophical questions I think are pressing.” Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1515. The event is free.