Tasting event set for artificial beef grown from stem cells

by Bob Yirka report
meat

(Medical Xpress)—Ogilvy Public Relations has announced that a media event will take place on August 5th in London to publicize the results of efforts by Mark Post, a researcher at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands—he has been trying to grow palatable beef in a lab. An unknown person will be invited to taste the beef sample that has been grown from stem cells, in front of an invitation-only crowd of guests.

Growing meat from stem cells would allow for the production of meat without dedicating land to pasture animals. It's a goal of several research facilities around the world, but thus far all such efforts have been not only costly, but have resulted in that are not of sufficient quality to replace that which is grown naturally. Post, working with funds from an unknown donor, has been working for nearly a decade trying to produce a product that not only tastes as good as "real" meat, but looks appetizing as well.

To grow the meat, Post and his team start with taken from at slaughterhouses. Each cell is fed and nurtured and eventually grows into a strip approximately 3 centimeters long by 1.5 centimeters wide. The meat sample is made up of 5000 such strips which have been chopped up and mixed with grown to make a kind of hamburger. The sample will almost certainly also have some sort of coloring agent mixed in as well, as artificially grown is generally dull white. Post has reported in the past that the meat strips are stretched to keep them tender. He's also previously reported that thus far his research efforts have consumed £220,000, making the first burger, far more expensive than one obtained via traditional ways.

Post has stated that his overall objective is to find a means for mass producing artificially grown beef, pork and chicken (technically known as "in-vitro meat") to replace naturally grown to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses released due to raising livestock as a food source. He's also hinted that he's hoping to secure a celebrity chef to cook up the burger at the tasting event.

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krundoloss
3 / 5 (4) Jul 17, 2013
This may seem silly and unneccessary, but it is intriguing to me because it may be easier in the long run to feed and nuture clumps of cells than it is to feed and nuture a herd of cows. In order for this to work, it needs to be made simple, like throw some powder in a plastic container with sugar water and it grows meat in a few days.
CapitalismPrevails
2.3 / 5 (6) Jul 17, 2013
When China starts building up an even more serious appetite for beef, this technology may come practical as the price of beef rises. Although my name suggest otherwise, i hope they never beat the real thing as i'm a rancher. See how vested interest works against creative destruction?
DarwiN100
2 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2013
Bob, among the benefits you quickly mentioned how much land would be spared and the reduction of greenhouse gasses, yet you failed to be sensitive enough to mention by far the biggest benefit of them all, which is animal suffering. Shame on you.!