Stem Cell Burgers

SLM
#1
Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger

By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News, Vancouver


Dutch scientists have used stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue with the aim of producing the first lab-grown hamburger later this year.

The aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat than rearing animals.

At a major science meeting in Canada, Prof Mark Post said synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%.

"We would gain a tremendous amount in terms of resources," he said.

Professor Post's group at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick.

They are off-white and resemble strips of calamari in appearance. These strips will be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to produce a hamburger by the autumn.

The cost of producing the hamburger will be 200,000 but Professor Post says that once the principle has been demonstrated, production techniques will be improved and costs will come down.

At a news conference, Prof Post said he was even planning to ask celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal to cook it.


"The reason we are doing this is not to show a viable product but to show that in reality we can do this," he told BBC News.

"From then on, we need to spend a whole lot of work and money to make the process efficient and then cost effective."

So why use such high tech methods to produce meat when livestock production methods have done the job effectively for thousands of years?

It is because most food scientists believe that current methods of food production are unsustainable.

Some estimate that food production will have to double within the next 50 years to meet the requirements of a growing population. During this period, climate change, water shortages and greater urbanisation will make it more difficult to produce food.

Prof Sean Smukler from the University of British Columbia said keeping pace with demand for meat from Asia and Africa will be particularly hard as demand from these regions will shoot up as living standards rise. He thinks that lab grown meat could be a good solution.


Demand for meat will increase at a time when it will be harder than ever for farmers to boost production
"It will help reduce land pressures," he told BBC News. "Anything that stops more wild land being converted to agricultural land is a good thing. We're already reaching a critical point in availability of arable land," he said.

Lab-grown meat could eventually become more efficient than producing meat the old fashioned way, according to Prof Post. Currently, 100g of vegetable protein has to be fed to pigs or cows to produce 15g of animal protein, an efficiency of 15%. He believes that synthetic meat could be produced with an equivalent energy efficiency of 50%.

So what is the synthetic burger likely to taste like?

"In the beginning it will taste bland," says Prof Post. "I think we will need to work on the flavour separately by trying to figure out which components of the meat actually produce the taste and analyse what the composition of the strip is and whether we can change that."

Prof Post also said that if the technology took off, it would reduce the number of animals that were factory farmed and slaughtered.


The BBC's Pallab Ghosh reports from Duggie's Dogs hot dog restaurant in Downtown Vancouver
But David Steele, who is president of Earthsave Canada, said that the same benefits could be achieved if people ate less meat.

"While I do think that there are definite environmental and animal welfare advantages of this high-tech approach over factory farming, especially, it is pretty clear to me that plant-based alternatives... have substantial environmental and probably animal welfare advantages over synthetic meat," he said.

Dr Steele, who is also a molecular biologist, said he was also concerned that unhealthily high levels of antibiotics and antifungal chemicals would be needed to stop the synthetic meat from rotting.

BBC News - Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I get the practicality of developing alternative sources of food, growing world populations will eventually make that absolutely necessary.

But this is just unpalatable. Yuck.
 
captain morgan
+3
#2  Top Rated Post
As if mystery-meat in processed, meat-style foods wasn't enough to turn my stomach... This seals the deal
 
Goober
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

As if mystery-meat in processed, meat-style foods wasn't enough to turn my stomach... This seals the deal

One of these days I will try some kobe beef.With Lobster and Digby scallops.

Kobe beef - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
damngrumpy
#4
What, no more John Wayne herding long horns over the old Chisholm Trail? That
ain't American now is it?
May the American west will have cowboys herding research scientist to market.

I only know one thing I won't be eating it. I don't mind beef on the hoof as it were
but these day with corporate farms its hard to trust them let alone trusting these
people with stem cell meat and chemicals.
 
taxslave
#5
Rotten Ronnies has been making artificial burgers for decades.
 
mentalfloss
#6
This will all hinge on how authentic this synthetic meat will be. Like most rational people, I'm on board with healthy alternatives, especially if it can result in less slaughter and environmental benefit,
 
L Gilbert
+3
#7
Read about this last year in a science journal. I'll stick with moose, elk, and bison, thanks.

Burgers From A Lab: The World Of In Vitro Meat : NPR

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...a_fact_specter

http://www.wired.com/science/discove...4/invitro_meat
Last edited by L Gilbert; Feb 20th, 2012 at 11:26 PM..
 
SLM
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Read about this last year in a science journal. I'll stick with moose, elk, and bison, thanks.

Burgers From A Lab: The World Of In Vitro Meat : NPR

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...a_fact_specter

Scientists Flesh Out Plans to Grow (and Sell) Test Tube Meat

Franken-meat. Yum!
 
earth_as_one
#9
The stem cells could come from any animal. Cows, pigs, dogs, humans...
 
shadowshiv
+1
#10
Wouldn't this be similar to Spam? While it is probably going to be feasible, I would prefer to be able to eat the meat that I already enjoy. Besides the taste, would this synthetic meat have any of the nutrients that real meat would give?
 
SLM
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Wouldn't this be similar to Spam? While it is probably going to be feasible, I would prefer to be able to eat the meat that I already enjoy. Besides the taste, would this synthetic meat have any of the nutrients that real meat would give?

Spam is almost as unpalatable as this synthetic meat. If those were the only options, that would be the point where I'd be considering vegetarianism I think.
 
shadowshiv
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Spam is almost as unpalatable as this synthetic meat. If those were the only options, that would be the point where I'd be considering vegetarianism I think.

Until they come out with synthetic veggies!
 
SLM
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Until they come out with synthetic veggies!

Well they have franken-veggies now don't they?

Bread and water it is!
 
shadowshiv
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Well they have franken-veggies now don't they?

Bread and water it is!

Or insects...
 
SLM
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Or insects...

I'd starve first. Yuck!
 
shadowshiv
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I'd starve first. Yuck!

No! I wouldn't let you do that! I'd find you some meat to eat somewhere!
 
SLM
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

No! I wouldn't let you do that! I'd find you some meat to eat somewhere!

You're a giving person, lol.
 
shadowshiv
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

You're a giving person, lol.

Why yes, I am.
 
petros
#19
Oxo can make anything taste good. Even bugs.
 
shadowshiv
+1
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Oxo can make anything taste good. Even bugs.

Anything?

I think I'd be able to eat certain bugs, but certainly not cockroaches!
 
Bar Sinister
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I'd starve first. Yuck!

Better stop eating then. It is estimated that most Canadians eat an a half kilo or so of insects per year in the form of tiny mites on fruits and vegetables as well as and their eggs. Still more insects and eggs are found in processed food.

So far as the article is concerned the great science fiction author Frederick Pohl wrote about artificially grown foods in the 1950s. If I remember correctly the book was called the Space Merchants. One striking scene I remember from the book is visiting a factory in which a giant chicken heart (some ten meters or so across) is constantly harvested even as nutrients are added to keep it beating. Humourously, the heart was nicknamed "Chicken Little" by the people who harvested and tended it.
 
SLM
+2
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar SinisterView Post

Better stop eating then. It is estimated that most Canadians eat an a half kilo or so of insects per year in the form of tiny mites on fruits and vegetables as well as and their eggs. Still more insects and eggs are found in processed food.

You know, I could have died happy not knowing that.

Quote:

So far as the article is concerned the great science fiction author Frederick Pohl wrote about artificially grown foods in the 1950s. If I remember correctly the book was called the Space Merchants. One striking scene I remember from the book is visiting a factory in which a giant chicken heart (some ten meters or so across) is constantly harvested even as nutrients are added to keep it beating. Humourously, the heart was nicknamed "Chicken Little" by the people who harvested and tended it.

I don't eat much processed food, so to me just the idea of 'synthetic' is unpalatable to say the least.
 
petros
+1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Anything?

I think I'd be able to eat certain bugs, but certainly not cockroaches!

Just don't look.
 
shadowshiv
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Just don't look.

I guess they might be okay if they were covered in chocolate.
 
petros
#25
How well do oxo and chocolate go together?
 
SLM
+1
#26
OXO and chocolate? Ewwww.

I have to eat breakfast in eight hours!

Maybe I'll just skip it.
 
shadowshiv
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

How well do oxo and chocolate go together?

No, I was talking about cockroaches. I said that I wouldn't want to eat cockroaches(if it got to the point where we had to eat insects), but I guess I'd be willing to try chocolate-covered cockroaches.

OXO cubes. Blech! I'd rather eat a cockroach!

Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

OXO and chocolate? Ewwww.

I have to eat breakfast in eight hours!

Maybe I'll just skip it.

There are many things made of chocolate that are quite tasty.

Chocolate OXO cubes are not one of those items.
 
petros
+1
#28
Roaches kinda smell like butterscotch. I wonder if they taste like butterscotch?



 
shadowshiv
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Roaches kinda smell like butterscotch. I wonder if they taste like butterscotch?



You know, cockroaches probably wouldn't taste as bad as I think they do, but with all the negative things you hear about them, it just reinforces their "yuck" factor.
 
petros
#30
Start with crickets and grasshoppers then work your way up to roaches.
 

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