cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
aug 05, 2013

cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted

cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
photo: david parry / PA wire



the first lab-grown burger has been presented by professor mark post of maastricht university, who began the in vitro meat project in 2008, in trying to create edible flesh from stem cells–post’s research and experimentation is a continuation of the 2004 study initiated by 86-year-old entrpreneur willem van eelen, who was fascinated in the possibilities of growing meat.


the process involves the extraction of muscle stem cells from animals such as pigs, chickens, and in this case cows, which are obtained from fresh pieces of their tissue through biopsy. these are then naturally multiplied, supplemented by calf serum to help encourage their development, ‘bulking them up’ into solid bundles. as the muscle cells continue to naturally generate themselves, they need to continuously be supplied with nutrients. a soluble sugar polymer is used to obtain larger slices of meat. taste and texture are of course important in making the tissue edible, so factors such as protein composition and fat tissue are rendered in order that the resulting specimen has the desired consistency.


at a london event today, chef richard mcgeown cooked up two burgers made from cultured beef, which were subsequently tasted.



cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
the lab-grown beef burger patty waiting to be cooked
photo: david parry / PA wire




the ‘cultured beef‘ project is one of the first steps into finding a sustainable solution to the production and consumption of meat, particularly in light of our world’s food shortages. it is estimated that the global demand for meat will increase by more than two-thirds. 20,000 small strands of culture are combined to create one normal sized hamburger, and a few cells from a single cow can ultimately result in the lab generation of 10 tons of meat.



cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
the burger made from cultured beef was cooked by chef richard mcgeown
photo: david parry / PA wire



cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
almost ready to be served…
photo: david parry / PA wire



cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
the cultured beef burger ready to be eaten
photo: david parry / PA wire



cultured beef: first lab-grown burger is tasted
professor mark post with a burger made from in vitro meat
photo: david parry / PA wire



the ethics and science behind cultured beef
video courtesy of cultured beef, maastricht university
  • NTAJ is right though. There may not be enough animal protein for all (at least in the excessive quantities demanded)- but there is certainty enough other non-animal food produced worldwide (which either alone or in combination with what animal protein is available) to sufficiently feed the global population. The problem is a mix of both Western consumption habits and, as NTAJ stated, the unequal distribution and atrocious financially motivated wastage.

  • I know, let’s procreate until we have no quality of life left.
    Technology will solve all our problems.

  • @morgan – First of all, the food shortage is anything but ‘so called’. Secondly, the long term impact of the way we raise cattle is ecologically disasterous. Not only the energy and square-footage that is consumed by the cattle but also the methane that comes out.

  • Microbiological meatball…

  • I can see more appropriate application in space travel, rather than solving the worlds so-called food shortage.

  • NTAJ, I could not disagree more. There is not “more than enough” *animal protein* for all. The negative ecological impacts of large-scale cattle ranching are well known. The pressure on marine protein resources is intense and getting worse. The excesses of high-density chicken farming are sickening. Stem-cell-generated animal protein is a wonderful idea, and should be encouraged for its practicality and lack of cruelty.

    Mac McDougal
  • there is no shortage of food in this world. there is a distribution problem. there is more than enough food for all, but unfortunately most of it is thrown away and wasted in order to keep market prices stable. who believes that the patented development of this kind of technology will solve the food shortage problem? this line of argumentation is ridiculous.

  • What did it taste like?

    Chloe M
  • One day one day we will have enough wisdom and knowledge to spread this technology and move collectively to a less cruel world!

    Alexander Kandisaputro
  • “300.000-Euros-Burger” … bon appetit …

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