The Frankenburger awakes
Would you like ketchup on your stem cells? Yes, today, the world’s first test tube burger is being unveiled at a secret location in London – a meat patty grown in a lab from 20,000 teeny weeny strips of cow muscle on a petri dish. Mmmm, I’ll have two, please! (no gherkin, though, they’re for freaks).
The stem cells are grown in a nutrient rich broth, until they multiply 30 fold. Then they’re combined with a mouth-watering elastic collagen and attached to Velcro points in a petri dish, which encourages growth of the muscle tissue. (Drool!). The muscle is bulked up by electrical stimulation (a bit like a Slendertone machine) and the strands of meat are minced up with animal fat, also grown in a lab.
Today, the burger will be fried in a pan and eaten by 2 anonymous people. And if there's any justice in the world, hopefully one of them is Giles Coren.
Amazingly, the single burger cost 250 grand to produce, which at the moment doesn’t exactly make it more of an economically viable option than the traditional method of slaughtering cows and mincing them up.
But its creator, Professor Mark Post, hopes that within 10 years, we could eliminate the need to eat animals at all by chowing down on in-vitro meat instead. At a conference last year, Prof Post said: ‘Meat demand is going to double in the next 40 years. Right now we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You can easily calculate that we need alternatives.'
Er, yeah. But this? How about a nice cauliflower cheese grill instead?