I love burgers and I love steaks. I love vegetables (some of them) and I love the environment. Unfortunately, you can’t really love all of them at once (with the exception of veggies) because raising cattle is extremely taxing on the environment.
With the goal of producing beef that doesn’t entirely come from cows (yes, perplexing, isn’t it?), Professor Mark Post and his colleagues of Maastricht University set to work.
The results of their research has resulted in the first public tasting of a lab-grown burger that cost $330,000(USD) to make.
Post explains: “That we are trying today is important because I hope it will show cultured beef has the answers to major problems that the world faces. Our burger is made from muscle cells taken from a cow. We haven’t altered them in any way. For it to succeed it has to look, feel and hopefully taste like the real thing.”
So how the meat cultured? Muscle tissues were first taken from cows on an organic farm. These were then cultured in a nutrient solution, where they multiplied to form strands. Over 20,000 of these strands were collected to make a 5-oz burger.
The cultured burger was prepared by chef Richard McGeown. Among the tasters were Chicago-based author Josh Schonwald and Austrian food researcher Hanni Rützle.
On the burger, Schonwald commented: “The burger had a very bland, neutral flavor. The thing that made it most similar to real beef was the texture. When I bit into it, I was impressed with the bite and how it had a kind of density that was familiar.”
Post explains that it might take ten more years or so before cultured meat makes its way onto consumer’s plates.
What do you think? Would you take a bite of cultured meat or will you only eat the real thing?