Sunday, August 11, 2013

$325,000 Artificial Hamburger Developed by Dutch Scientist

Hamburgers by uberculture/Flickr
Last Monday, a hamburger made of synthetic meat, using stem cells of a cow, was presented and tasted by a panel of experts in London. It has taken several years and $325,000 to develop by Dutch Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, which announced "this event due to the need to find a sustainable solution to food production." The idea behind it is that with increased prosperity around the world demand for meat will increase in the coming decades, while current meat production is not sustainable nor sufficient to meet this growing demand.

See what the taste experts say about the taste of this "meat' in this clip.

Clearly not yet as tasty as "real" meat. See also the following interview by Allan Little of BBC's Hardtalk with Professor Mark Post:

BBC's Hardtalk with Professor Mark Post 
According to a poll by the British newspaper The Guardian, 68% of respondents would eat lab-grown meat, while 32% said no.

Whether lab-grown meat will be the holy grail for the growing numbers of people wanting to eat meat at affordable prices remains to be seen. As far as I'm concerned part of the solution to this increased meat demand is by educating people about all the negative traits of meat - whether "produced' naturally or in the future in a lab -. Not only is meat very expensive and unsustainable for the planet, it also is one of the main causes of heart disease and cancer.  You don't have to be a vegetarian to see that this experiment and debate can be shortened by switching  to healthier ways of eating, including less meat or even veggie burgers. However, what is likelier to happen is that meat prices indeed will rise before the synthetic burger is viable, and then meat production may become even more unsustainable and unhealthy in order to try to meet the demand.

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