It may sound like a meal from a sci-fi novel, but this burger is definitely not a work of fiction. Earlier today, Professor Mark Post unveiled the world’s first lab-grown burger. Post and his colleagues at Maastricht University created the burger by removing cells from a cow and using them to form strips of muscle, which were then combined to form a burger patty. This groundbreaking piece of meat was then cooked and eaten at a news conference in London.
According to Post, this research project, which cost upwards of 215,000 British Pounds, could be a sustainable answer to the constant and ever-growing demand for meat. Post told the press that his team is researching alternate sources of meat because “livestock production is not good for the environment, it is not going to meet demand for the world and it is not good for animals.”
Lab-grown meat could certainly provide a more eco-friendly option as it requires 44% less energy to create a pound of beef in a lab than to create it conventionally in a factory farm. Lab-grown meat production also causes 96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and needs 99% less land.
Although many still question the safety and possible health consequences of eating lab-grown meat, animal rights organizations and many people who choose a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle are very supportive of lab-grown alternatives and believe they could fuel positive changes for animal welfare. Peta said that this new industry “will spell the end of lorries full of cows and chickens, abattoirs and factory farming. It will reduce carbon emissions, conserve water and make the food supply safer.”‘
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