Every good foodie has scoffed at the idea of eating the mystery meat served in most cafeterias, but what if that meat was genetically engineered from stem cells? So, it’s meat. Truly, but kind of, sort of not. Our apologies to the Fleur Burger 5000, test tube hamburger patties may have just taken the prize for the world’s most expensive hamburger coming in at a staggering price of $350,000 (there's a $355,000 price different between the two).
The project is lead by Mark Post, chairman of physiology, and a team of scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The team has found a way to help the environment by reducing the need for grazing land and reduce the carbon footprints left behind by factory farming. The introduction of a test tube hamburger patty can be also seen as an efficient way of meeting the planet’s increasing need of suitable protein sources for a growing population.
The patty, being debuted sometime this fall, is created by threading together thousands of small strips of muscle tissue. The technique used to create the patty is similar to using stem cells to re-grow human tissue and organs for transplants. Due to the sensitive subject matter surrounding stem cells many ethical concerns have been raised. Scientists at Maastricht University have explained that for each donor animal, millions more will be produced than if the donor animal had simply just been butchered once. Much more research is needed to find ways to lower the cost of production and most importantly to burger lovers the world over, what a burger grown by scientists will taste like.