At a time when society is truly waking up to the harms of artificial foods and
iffy food manufacturing techniques and embracing a healthier lifestyle as a
result, the biotech industry has its eye on creating artificial meat. It sounds
backwards, but it's true: the industry is developing pseudo foods, making them
sound like viable options that people should flock to in the near future.
Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands is the man responsible for creating a lab-grown hamburger using stem cells from cows. In a video housed on BBC.com, he takes viewers through a brief tour of the lab where such substances are created, showing an elaborate shelving system where billions of cow stem cells are housed while explaining that such a process is an "inevitable" way of life.
In that same video, he explains that small muscle tissues are created from the cow's stem cells. These muscle tissues are ultimately assembled together, piece by small piece, to create an entire hamburger.
"People might think this is a sort of crazy way to produce meat," Post says in
the video, "but it's inevitable because the way we produce meat right now
through livestock is not sustainable, it's not good for the environment, it's
not good for animals and we actually are not going to produce enough to meet the
world's demands. So this is one of the alternatives..."
"I am confident that we will have it on the market in five years," he said. He explained its appearance in supermarkets is heavily contingent on increases in its demand and more affordable pricing; after all, a prototype of the burger made and cooked in London two years ago cost approximately $332,000 (£215,000). Furthermore, its taste is in need of improvement, which is something that the researchers are also working on. During the prototype tasting, some food experts noted that it was "close to meat, but not that juicy," although another individual said it tasted real.
While the research team's efforts are interesting and certainly show an attempt to address sustainability issues, why not take action now by engaging in efforts that can have an immediate impact? It certainly beats waiting for an option that's not really desirable anyway and might not make its way to store shelves until five long years from now.
For example, why not consider going meatless altogether or gradually weaning
yourself from such a way of eating? That will resolve the greenhouse gas
emissions, animal treatment and land use issues Post refers to without the need
for any pricey burgers-from-a-tube lab creations. In fact, many social media
initiatives exist to help others refrain from eating meat while providing tasty
recipe substitutions; Twitter's #MeatlessMonday is one such option worth
exploring for meatless ideas and other tips.
Even better, ordering Mike Adams' Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Boxes is an excellent idea because they not only bring fresh foods to your table, but they help you do your part in sustainability efforts. Adams explains that the boxes actually grow food without the use of electricity, help people become self-reliant and provide them with healthy fruit and vegetable choices. It sure sounds better than sinking your teeth into a Franken-burger, right?
* Lab-grown meat will never feed the world or be commercially viable
* Lab-Grown Meat Is the Future of Food: Are You Ready to Take a Bite?
* Lab-grown meat is in your future, and it may be healthier than the real stuff
* Israeli Startup SuperMeat Nabs $3m to Develop Lab-grown Chicken Meat
* Biotech firm aims to bring lab-grown pork to market in five years
* 20-30 Years From now, Burgers Might Come From a Test Tube
* Bill Gates Invests In Fake Toxic Meats