Check out this news release I ran across the other day.
Scientists in the Netherlands say they hope to produce the first laboratory-grown hamburger by fall, according to news reports out of a conference in Canada.
Using cow stem cells grown in a petri dish, the researchers have created small strips of muscle that will be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to make a hamburger, the BBC writes. Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is being courted to cook â€œa golf ball-size of this stuff,â€ physiologist Mark Post of Maastricht University said at a news conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Proof of the concept isnâ€™t cheap: about $330,000, provided by an anonymous investor. As with all inventions, the costs would drop dramatically once commercialized.
Keep reading. This is where it gets really interesting.
So-called test-tube meat is being developed to slash the environmental impacts of factory farming, improve consumer health and lessen the suffering of animals.
Last June, an Oxford University study concluded that compared with conventionally grown and produced meat, â€œin vitroâ€ or â€œculturedâ€ meat would generate 96% lower greenhouse gas emissions, use 45% less energy, reduce land use by 99% and cut water use by 96%.
â€œAnimal farming is by far the biggest ongoing global catastrophe,â€ Patrick Brown of the Stanford University School of Medicine told reporters, AFP says. â€œMore to the point, itâ€™s incredibly ready to topple…itâ€™s inefficient technology that hasnâ€™t changed fundamentally for millennia.â€
This guy is from Stanford, not Slippery Rock U.
Worldwide, meat demand is projected to rise by 60% by 2050, said Nicholas Genovese, the U.S. scientist who organized the symposium.
In 2009, scientists grew the first pork in a lab.
The year before, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced it was offering $1 millionâ€”$1 for every chicken slaughtered every hour in the United Statesâ€”to the first scientist to bring in vitro meat to market.
Last May, The New Yorker carried an in-depth look at the promise, the challenges and the ethical issues of making cultured meat and making it acceptable to the public.
Kind of makes some of the spats we producers have amongst ourselves seem trivial.