Looks like we might be eating synthetic meat in the near future. On Monday, researchers from the Netherlands unveiled a burger made from lab-grown stem cells, cooking and tasting the meat at a media event in London.
Created by Mark Post, a professor at Maastricht University, the synthetic meat could serve as a solution to looming environmental and agricultural crises. Constructed from 20,000 protein strands grown from cow stem cells, the five-ounce "cultured beef" burger has a steep price tag: $325,000 (with Google co-founder Sergey Brin handling the bill.)
"I think people don't realize that current meat production is at its maximum, and it's not going to supply demand for the coming 400 years," Post said at Monday's event. "So we need to come up with an alternative, there's no question."
The burger was tasted by two volunteers: Hanni Rutzler, an Austrian researcher, and Josh Schonwald, a Chicago-based food writer. Rutzler described the burger as having a lot of "flavor" that was "close to meat," though it was not "that juicy" because of the meat lacking fat. Schonwald said the "texture, the mouthfeel" was "like meat," but addressed how the fat of "conventional" burgers was "absent."
Although synthetic meat could very well be the next alternative to how we eat meat, the cost, processing and skeptics keep it from becoming a reality. (And the fact that some people have labelled the creation as the "Frankenburger," doesn't help.)
[via The Verge]