Welcome to the future. It's long been discussion fodder for futurists, animal rights activists, and sci-fi junkies. But no matter whether you find yourself positioned in the ew! or the aha! camps, the world's first lab-grown 'test tube' hamburger meat is ready to be served.
Next Monday, the hamburger meat will arrive in London, and is likely to be prepared by a celebrity chef, and then consumed by a "special guest" reports the Telegraph.
For more than two years, scientists have been developing what Winston Churchill predicted nearly 100 years ago: eliminating the absurdity of growing an entire animal just to eat select parts, and "growing" just the meat instead. For animal rights activists, it represents a new era, a historic moment that could be looked back on as the beginning of the end of cruel factory farms.
Food Navigator reports that the University of Maastricht's Professor Mark Post and his team have been growing the test tube meat from stem cells of healthy cows: "The tissue is then ground up and mixed with lab grown fat to produce a completely lab-grown version of the burger."
While it's still going to be another few years at least before you can pick up a test tube burger at your nearby drive-thru dollar menu, the reality may be closer than ever before. The current version will cost about 250,000 Euros, but it's more a publicity stunt than anything the scientists note. Post and his team cite the burger as a 'proof of principle' project in development, but one that should excite people about the prospect of lab-grown meat products.
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Image: Adam Kuban