The first lab-grown 1/3 pound hamburger will be prepared and consumed next week in London. It will be the first test of its kind. The patty’s 3,000 strips of of muscle fiber were grown in test tubes over the course of years by scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, at a cost of $325,000. Professor Mark Post, the scientist behind the burger, gave an interview to the Independent:
“It comes down to the fact that animals are very inefficient at converting vegetable protein into animal protein. This helps drive up the cost of meat,” he said.
“Livestock also contributes a lot to greenhouse gas emissions, more so than our entire transport system. Livestock produces 39 per cent of global methane, 5 per cent of the CO2 and 40 per cent of the nitrous oxide. Eventually, we will have an ‘eco-tax’ on meat,” he added.
Bit by bit, a revolutionary new agricultural idea is moving closer to reality. We’re still not there, but shamburgers and faux filets might be in our freezers within the decade. They may prove to be cheaper and healthier than old-fashioned meat, they could replace factory farms, and even lead to massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
This is the kind of research smart greens should be cheering on. Faster, please!