Next week, someone at a yet undisclosed location in London will get to eat the most expensive burger ever made – which cost a whopping £250,000! We’re talking about the world’s first lab-grown burger, which is made from 20,000 strips of cultured meat grown from cow’s stem cells. Combined with lab-grown fat, the burger is said to look and taste like the real thing – except no cows had to die to make it.
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Funded in part by the Dutch government and an anonymous $396,000 donation, Mark Post’s research at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is aimed at developing solutions to a burgeoning demand for meat. The World Health Organization has warned that in the next four decades, meat demand will double, but current production methods are not only unsustainable environmentally, given the amount of methane released by cows, but also involve serious animal welfare violations.
Post spent two years developing his synthetic burger, which takes eight to nine weeks to grow in the lab. He told KDVR that with enough resources, one million such burgers could be grown at the same time, which would suit the pace of a modern restaurant slightly better. It cost approximately £250,000 to grow this particular burger, which will be eaten next week in front of an audience. We wonder who will get the honors?
“The whole presentation next week will be a proof of concept,” Post said. Of course we’re not there yet to make it an efficient and cheap product. But I want to show that it can be done so that people see: “Yes you can eat it, yes, it tastes good.”