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European Scientist To Cook And Eat His Own Lab-Grown Hamburger

Dr. Mark Post

Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands has grown his own hamburger. Not from a cow but from bovine stem cells in his laboratory, and will be cooking and eating his own project. This endeavor for lab-grown meat took years of research and cost €250,000 to make, but could change the meat industry if proven viable. The factory-farmed meat industry is inefficient, cattle and pork in particular, and requires massive amounts of resources for the amount of meat harvested. The process also results in substantial negative environmental impacts as well as almost universal inhumane treatment of livestock.

Lab-grown meat, if proven tasty enough to take off in the consumer marketplace, could mitigate these negative impacts, perhaps most notably by reducing the amounts of CO2 and methane that are released into the atmosphere from factory farms. Additionally, the cost of meat could be lowered and more could be made to feed the earth's ever-growing human population, which is expected to hit 9.5 billion by 2060.

Safety for human consumption is also a concern that a spokesperson for the UK's Food Standards Agency, which is analogous to the FDA or USDA, addressed by stating,

Any novel food, or food produced using a novel production process, must undergo a stringent and independent safety assessment before it is placed on the market. Anyone seeking approval of an in vitro meat product would have to provide a dossier of evidence to show that the product is safe, nutritionally equivalent to existing meat products, and will not mislead the consumer. This would be evaluated under the EU regulation for novel foods, prior to a decision on authorisation. There have been no such applications to date.

The taste-test is scheduled to occur this Monday, shortly after lunchtime.

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Comments

  1. "Soylent Green is people!"

    Posted by: bandanajack | Aug 2, 2013 6:28:12 PM


  2. Will "cloned meat" come from a cloned, fully grown cow, or will it just be like Xeroxed hamburger patty?

    If meat can be cloned without killing an animal, then vegetarians can eat a bacon cheeseburger and STFU.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Aug 2, 2013 6:29:20 PM


  3. I think it meat that is grown from "starter" cells in a matrix of some sort in a nutrient fluid that feeds the cells as they divide. I suppose at some point the "starter" cells have to come from a cow, but technically, the new cells are just just divisions of the older cells. Or that's how I understand it. I doubt vegetarians would eat it.

    Posted by: dms | Aug 2, 2013 7:41:16 PM


  4. Starter cells for boyfriends...that's my great idea. Pick your favorite man - sweet natured, handsome, fun, obedient. Put cells in petri dish. Voila. Happiness.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 2, 2013 11:02:17 PM


  5. It's going to take one hell of a marketing genius to figure out how to sell this product. Somehow, I don't think "lab meat" is going to be something people are going to want to eat.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Aug 2, 2013 11:59:46 PM


  6. Watch the unfortunately cancelled show "Better Off Ted" in which they grow meat in a lab and have someone eat it. clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezEMnzmDYZU

    Posted by: Morgan | Aug 3, 2013 8:01:25 AM


  7. Is Edward Snowden holed-up in this guy's lab?

    Posted by: SteveInDE | Aug 3, 2013 9:49:21 AM


  8. Stem cells? So he's making veal then?

    Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2013 2:14:26 PM


  9. Can't be any worse than the pink slime available in most stores right now.

    In fact, it would probably be 20 times healthier since it's not a genetic mix and probably has never seen a butchering factory floor.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 4, 2013 7:37:27 AM


  10. "Hmmm... tastes like chicken. Damn."

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 4, 2013 11:05:14 AM


  11. They will have no problem marketing this, if or when it becomes commercially viable. If they are able to replicate the taste and texture of regular meat and produce it cheaper, you will be eating it. All the big food chains will start replacing conventional meat with the cheaper stuff. When you buy meat at the market it will just say hamburger with a tiny disclaimer saying it is factory grown. If it is cheaper, it will sell.

    I, personally, am really excited about the work going into lab grown meat. I am a carnivore, but I have a really hard time accepting the reality of animal treatment in factory farms.

    Posted by: James | Aug 5, 2013 12:43:16 PM


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