It’s been reported that Dutch scientists have managed to make some lab-grown hamburger but would you like to eat some? Are we going to be a society living on lab-grown products, including meat?
MSNBC reports that some Dutch scientist intend to serve the world’s first lab-grown hamburger by the end of year. This research has been funded by an anonymous investor and intends to to develop “life-transforming technologies” and in this case to find an alternative to traditional animal-reading methods of producing meat.
The process has been explained by the Time as follows: “First, bovine stem cells are grown in a vat and transformed into thousands of layers of beef muscle cells. The thin layers are then minced and mixed with animal fat, also lab-grown, to form a ball of meat — or something like it. If the team, led by Mark Post, a physiologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, successfully produces that synthetic lump, the burger will be cooked by British experimental chef Heston Blumenthal.”
According to U.N. estimates, land used for animal farming takes up nearly a third of Earth’s land mass. And over the next four decades, demand for meat products is projected to double, MSNBC reports. At a news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Post predicted growing meat in a lab “could reduce the energy expenditure by about 40 percent.” Lab-grown meat has also received an endorsement from PETA.
Despite potential upsides, producing lab-grown meat, while innovative, is costly and labor-intensive. It’s also strange. Post said he’s unsure what the burger will taste like, because samples created thus far have been too small. He hopes to debut the burger in October, but expects that full commercialization would take at least 10 years.