Lab-Grown Beef Cheaper Than Gourmet

The test tube burger is now cheaper than many of the medium grade gourmet burgers.

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Back in 2013, Maastricht University researchers announced the success of their attempts to create a hamburger made entirely from lab-grown beef.  The downside was that it cost around $325,000 to create one of their so-called cultured beef patties.  That threw off a lot of people’s excitement over the possible revolution of a greener, more ethical meat solution for grill-a-holics.

Dutch professor Mark Post when interviewed by ABC News said that the price had fallen to around $11 a patty, $80 per kilogram.  “From a small piece of muscle you can produce 10,000 kilos of meat,” he pointed out.

They extract cells which repair muscle tissue from cows , and mix them with something called “fetal calf serum.”  The stem cells extract nutrients from the calf serum, then begin to produce protein.

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If you can stomach the above explanation of how it’s made, you may be wondering how it tastes.  In 2013, when it came out, lab-grown beef didn’t wow too many people.  “The absence is the fat, [there’s] a leanness to it, but the bite feels like a conventional hamburger,” said Josh Schonwald a food author and one of the first to try the future burger.

Those involved with the research believe that the taste can be improved by allowing some stem cells to develop into fat cells, which would increase the juiciness and flavor.  They are predicting meats like these to be a dietary staple for meat-eaters by 2050.  I know of several vegetarian friends who said they would even be interested in it, if part of a transparent business practice ensuring no animals are harmed in its creation.

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