With the global population rising at an alarming rate, it is pretty obvious that unless something is done and soon, future generations around the world could find it very difficult to have the abundance of food that we have nowadays.
Sergei Brin, one of the co-founders of Google, invested £215,000, a large proportion of the reported £250,000 that it cost to research and create the world’s very first test tube burger. It is seen as a potential solution to provide the world and under developed countries with a plentiful supply to keep up with the growing demand.
Persuading people to actually eat the lab grown meat is one thing but can you imagine popping this onto the barbecue grill in the near future?
Why did they do it?
As you would expect with a significant population increase, the demand for meat will only continue to rise and the UN predict that within the next 40 years, meat consumption will rise by a staggering 50%. The Chinese population for example, has increased by 10% each year for the past 30 years. This has resulted in the consumption of a quarter of the world’s meat, a huge 71 million tons per year.
How did they do it?
Step 1 – Stem cells were taken from the shoulder muscles of cows that have been organically raised.
Step 2 – These stem cells were then placed into a nutrient broth to grow into small strands of beef.
Step 3 – Scientists then used an amazing 20,000 strands to make just one tiny 5 ounce burger.
Step 4 – After being lightly seasoned with, beetroot juice, breadcrumbs, egg powder, saffron and salt, the burger was fried in butter and sunflower oil and served to top food experts at the Riverside Studios in London.
Josh Schonwald, American food expert and taster of the burger claimed that it had a very bland taste but that there was nothing horrible about it. The home-grown meat was very similar in texture to normal beef burgers and could easily be disguised with sauces and other flavours. He also stated that if he didn’t know any better then he wouldn’t have guessed it.
Another food researcher Hanni Rutzler commented that “it’s close to meat”.
The creator Professor Post, who made the burger in his laboratory in the Netherlands admitted that the flavour needed some improvements. He also revealed that because fat tends to provide the flavour, his team were dedicated to working on this and could have something different in the next couple of months.
What do we think?
While we don’t see this being stocked in the meat aisle at Tesco anytime soon, things do at some point in time need to be actioned to prevent the world’s food crisis. Who knows, if they get the flavour spot on and the price is right maybe we would at least give it a try but for the time being, I am happy to stick to my own burger recipe.
We would love to hear what you think of this research and whether or not you would actual invite friends around to your barbecue party for a lab grown burger or two?
Image courtesy of the Daily Mail
See the video for yourself