The world’s first “test tube” hamburger may be coming to a menu near you, this fall.
At a press conference Sunday, Dutch scientist Dr. Mark Post released a photo of the faux-flesh in the making, and announced that ingredients for the first burger are in the “laboratory phase,” and will hit the grill in eight months.
Lab-made steak may sound farfetched, but Post is aiming to reproduce skeletal muscle tissue to mimic the taste, flavour and texture of meat using an amalgam of cow’s stem cells. Post is looking to create a meat-like alternative that reduces the global reliance on cattle-farming and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
But, growing meat replicas is hardly a new idea. In fact, Post’s project, funded through a silent investment of around Â£200,000, seems suspiciously similar to a $1-million incentive PETA offered in 2008. In April 2008, PETA launched a contest, offering a $1-million prize to the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.”
In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, Ingrid Newkirk, a PETA founder, said she long-hoped for the organization to work towards advancing in vitro meat technology. However, PETA has said Post’s team has not yet met the requirements for winning the prize money.
So far, Post and his team at Maastricht University in the Netherlands have produced thin sheets of simulated, vegan beef using reconstructive technology.
Once the artificial burger is completed, Post is hoping for a celebrity taste tester, but for now, he’s keeping all details under wraps.
Joanna Adams writes the Morning Cable, and lots more, for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at â€ @nowstarringTO.