Could Test Tube Meat Be On the Menu At Your Local Burger Joint?
The demand for meat is forecasted to grow by twofold in the coming years due to an increase in the population. And while the UN has called for a vegan diet in the face of such an exploding population, some are hesitant to give up their favorite source of protein.
But what if your favorite variety of meat, pork, or poultry came from a test tube? Would that hamburger, hot dog, or drumstick still be appealing? Professor Mark Post from Maastricht University in the Netherlands wants you to be open minded about the prospect of artificial meat sources and what they could mean for the world’s population, according to The Telegraph.
He’s spent years researching the potential of test tube meat and thinks that his research could work on beef, pork, and poultry, both to satisfy global demand and reduce worldwide farming.
While Professor Post says that the process can be done without killing, it’s still more efficient to slaughter the animals. On the surface the process for making this hamburger meat is quite simple. The initial tissue is produced by adding livestock stem cells to a broth containing vital nutrients. Serum from a cow’s fetus is added to the broth, allowing the muscle cells to grow by 30 times. Once the muscular tissue is grown, fat tissue is grown in the same manner. To make hamburger, 3,000 strips of muscular tissue from livestock, each piece 3 cm by 1.5 cm and 1/2 mm thick, are ground up with 200 strips of fat tissue to form ground hamburger.
But questions still surround the procedure, the most important of which is whether researchers could produce the meat cheaply enough to make it worthwhile to consumers and even then, would consumers ever accept artificial meat? So far only one Russian journalist has tasted the meat and he pretty much turned his nose up at the flavor.
What do you think? Would you give this test tube meat a try?
Photo: Sara Novak