Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lab-Grown Burgers (Picture of the Day: 8/8/13)

The raw lab-grown meat patty. Source
Cooking the patty. Source
This demonstration of our new technology has been a long time in coming. Humanity first gained the ability to grow meat without the aid of an animal (called in vitro meat) in the 1990s, but now we're approaching the day when this food source will be cheap enough to market.
I suppose I should explain what lab-grown meat is. The general principle is that this in vitro meat is cruelty free and much better for the environment than conventional meat. A couple cells are harvested from a donor animal (this does not injure the animal) and then grown in a lab setting. The cells can be coaxed into dividing like they were still on the animal, thus allowing for the growing of meat without having to kill anything to harvest it.
This new demonstration was given at a science talk turned cooking show where two food critics taste tested one of these lab-grown burgers. Flavor-wise, the critics claimed, the meat was just like regular meat, except that it lacked fat (which is, admittedly, a pretty big deal when it comes to meat).
This particular patty looks pink here, but that's only because it was colored with beet root juice and saffron. The actual meat itself is a pasty white due to the fact that there's no actual blood involved.
Artificially grown meat is currently far too expensive to be a consumer product, but I have hope that one day we'll be able to grow meat without having to breed environmentally wasteful animals. I know I'd eat a lab-grown burger if I ever got the chance.
For more information, check out this article.

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