Currently showing: Food security > Diet/alternatives


14 May 13 14:55

In the summer of 2011, Mark Post, a professor of physiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, made headlines when he first began to discuss the real possibilities of creating a test tube burger. With some money from the Dutch government and tens of thousands of bovine stem cells, Post's in-vitro burger is nearly ready to be cooked and served in an event in London in June 2013.

The meat consists of 20,000 thin strips of meat tissue which has been grown from stem cells. It is extremely lean and incredibly expensive- a single patty of this in-vitro meat said to have cost nearly £200,000 to produce.

Both positive and negative views are expected to follow this development as people may be skeptical when they first hear about it or even taste it but on the other hand it may be better for the planet as the beef industry has been criticized for damaging delicate ecosystems and the earth's atmosphere.

I must admit I would be quite skeptical about trying it as well….What are your thoughts?


Category: Food security: Diet/alternatives

Tags: #Innovation.


3 Comments

Rashunda Tramble - 16 May 2013, 3:09 p.m.

Well, I find it weird that so much money and research was put into creating a luxury food item. No one *needs* a burger. If we're attempting to recreate one, why not go with the options that already exist? Or is there another purpose to creating this food item?

Aspasia Angelakopoulou - 20 May 2013, 11:27 a.m.

Hi Raschunda,

The main intention behind this development by Post's team is to rid the world on its dependence on beef. As I read in one article,livestock is responsible for nearly 20 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions and cattle consume 10 percent of the world’s fresh water supplies. So I guess lab grown meat will is considered as an important step towards more environment friendly developments.

Regarding the cost, at the moment you are absolutely right it is extremely expensive and this is related more to the technological advances used. If they overcome these barriers I guess that the cost will significantly drop.

Alicia Montoya - 17 Aug 2013, 5:56 p.m.

So now that the deed is done and has been widely debated, has your opinion changed, Aspasia? Here's a more recent discussion on the topic: http://openminds.swissre.com/stories/331/

But what I'm wondering is: This whole eating meat with every meal is pretty new. Only a few decades ago meat was a luxury that only few could afford. Most people had many vegetarian meals and when dishes did include meat, it was often a very small part of the dish. As the battle for resources wages on driven by an ever more overpopulated planet, and this while we try to curb our environmental impact, can you not imagine us going back to a much more vegetable and cereal-based diet? I'm sure the inevitable hike in prices as meat becomes scarcer in relation to population would take care of that...

From a medical perspective, I always hear the same argument: We need the protein. But I was a vegan for 9 months and I was never short of protein. And doesn't it make you wonder how all those vegetarians survive -in fact, thrive- for so long without meat? Isn't this down to a misconception about just how much protein you get from veggies and cereals? And aren't people who consume meat so frequently actually eating way more protein than their bodies need?


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