The Dutch Create First Lab Grown Hamburger

#Food

Thu, Feb 23rd, 2012 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to this article on the BBC, Professor Post and his group of researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands have grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick. The meat reportedly looks like a calamari, costs and arm and a leg and has a very bland taste, but shows that growing meat in a lab can be done.

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.

[...] "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.

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