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August 2013

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NYTimes.com: A Lab-Grown Burger Gets a Taste Test

NYTimes.com: A Lab-Grown Burger Gets a Taste Test

A hamburger made from cow muscle grown in a laboratory was fried, served and eaten in London on Monday in an odd demonstration of one view of the future of food.

In vitro meat. Mmmmm.

I understand the driving force behind this. Meat production today takes a great deal of resources. If a way is developed to cheaply produce meat with a smaller environmental footprint, more people can have meat more often.

The science is interesting- this is one step closer to the food replicators in Star Trek. But, the main question that I have is about the quality of the meat and could we ever trust the people or companies that grew it. Existing processed foods are full of ingredients that are added not because they are good for you, but change the appearance, make it cheaper, or last longer. I can see this happening with cultured meat. Maybe snake meat cells replicate more quickly- what is stopping manufacturers from adding it to the mix? Companies already do not want to tell us if their product contains GMO’s. I definitely wouldn’t trust the companies to tell us how meat is grown.