The future of meat

The £250,000 ‘test tube’ burger has been grown in a lab using the stem cells of a slaughtered cow.

- London -  via

The world’s most expensive beefburger is about to be served up in London next week – and it’s not even made with real meat.

The £250,000 (little over R3.7 million) ‘test tube’  burger has been grown in a lab using the stem cells of a slaughtered cow.

It will be made up of 3,000 strips of artificial beef, each the size of a grain of rice.

Prof Mark Post, a medical physiologist at Maastricht University in Holland has spent two years developing the ‘in vitro’ burger which he believes could help save the environment and prevent a food crisis.

It has been suggested that stem cells taken from one animal could be used to make a million times more meat than is possible from a single cow.

Scientists believe the public demonstration which is taking place at an exclusive West End venue could possibly lead to artificial meat being sold in supermarkets within five to ten years, the Independent on Sunday reported.

Speaking about the project last year, Prof Post said: ‘Eventually, my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals which you keep in stock in the world. You basically kill animals and take all the stem cells from them, so you would still need animals for this technology’,

‘Right now, we are using 70 per cent of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You are going to need alternatives. If we don’t do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive.

‘Livestock also contributes a lot to greenhouse gas emissions, more so than our entire transport system.’

An anonymous donor has funded the development

The £250,000 needed to develop the burger was donated by an anonymous donor – who may reveal himself at next week’s taste-testing for a select few.

The Food Standards Agency said that before going on sale, artificial meat would need regulatory approval.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that cultured meat would be ethically acceptable if it meant less slaughtering.

Would you eat this genetically manufactured burger if it meant saving the environment?

Pic: Generic burger, Shutterstock


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