A scientist from the Netherlands is about to introduce the world to the first beef burger made from cultured bovine stem cells. The beef patty cost $332,000 and was created in the laboratory. The global population has become more and more dependent upon meat as a means of nutrition. And with cattle giving off greenhouse gases and feeding from 30% of the ice-free land on the planet, the need for a sustainable source of food for the future is paramount. This is where lab-grown meat comes in. The project faces no boycott from PETA or other animal rights agencies. As for the burger, it was funded by an individual who preferred to remain unnamed. Weighing five ounces, the beef patty will be fried and then tasted by two chosen people at a momentous event in London today.
Artificial meat was long in the making. As a substitute for real meat it is humane and realistic. The samples of bovine stem cells are taken by a harmless biopsy method from the bone marrow of cattle. The culture process is very complex and costs so much that it is impractical to begin mass production at present. But one or two decades from now this may be a viable possibility. At least 20,000 strands of muscle tissue are involved in the making of a single burger. And from the same sample 20,000 tons of artificial lab-grown beef can be produced. The only assurance needed now is that the taste of the lab grown beef is the same as the one in real life. That will be the ultimate test.