Food

Researchers to debut lab-grown beef burger to the world

August 02, 2013

After years of research and much anticipation, a Dutch scientist will finally unveil his lab-grown, artificial meat to the world, created in a petri dish from the stem cells of a cow.

Next week, at a secret location in London, the synthetic meat will be served to a select group of guests in London as a mundane beef burger.

But at £250,000 ($380,500 USD), the 5 oz patty - also described as the most expensive burger in the world - will be anything but, as diners take a bite out of meat made from 3,000 strips of artificial beef, each the size of a grain of rice, reports The Independent.

Moreover, guests will also take what creator medical physiologist Mark Post hopes, to be a bite out of history as the answer to the world’s food woes.

It’s been years since Post, from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands, has been alerting the world to his pending “test-tube” meat, a project created to help offset climate change and provide a healthier, safer alternative to conventional meat production.

According to some estimates, meat production is responsible for nearly 20 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Burgeoning middle classes and rising incomes around the world are also pushing up global meat demand, particularly in China, where meat consumption has increased 165 percent since 1990.

And the water footprint to produce 1 kg of beef is a whopping 154,000 liters of water, mainly due to the amount required for animal feed.

But according to The Independent, in theory, stem cells from just one animal could be used to make a million times more meat than can be butchered from a single beef carcass, slashing the need for land use, water, feed and greenhouse gases.

Meanwhile, guests at the London event will watch a live demo as their dinner is cooked in front of them before tucking into their synthetic beef burger.

Researchers hope to see artificial beef sold commercially in grocery stores and restaurants within the next five to 10 years. - AFP/Relaxnews, 2 August, 2013.