For those of who expected the 21st century to be a world of wonders as limned in David Bowie songs and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, the cavalry may be arriving. And by cavalry, I mean test-tube White Castles:
Speaking at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Vancouver yesterday afternoon (SUNDAY), Prof [Mark] Post [of Maastricht University] said his team has successfully replicated the process with cow cells and calf serum, bringing the first artificial burger a step closer.
He said: "In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels and hopefully tastes like meat."
Hopefully tastes like meat...where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, at Burger King's drive-thru. Burgers may be in the pipeline but it's gonna take steak a while longer:
Creating different cuts, such as steaks, would be more problematic because to grow thicker strips of meat would require an artificial blood supply, he added....
The only person to have tried the lab-grown meat so far is a Russian journalist who snatched a sample of pork during a visit to Prof Post's lab at Maastricht University last year and declared himself unimpressed.
That first burger won't come cheap. The research behind it is expected to run a total about 250,000 euros. But just to make the whole situation a wee-bit more disturbing than it needs to be, there's this:
The work is being financed by anonymous and extremely wealthy benefactor who Prof Post claims is a household name with a reputation for "turning everything into gold".
We at Reason have been licking our chops for vat-grown meat since at least 2005, when we raised questions about whether vegans could eat the stuff and whether celebrity meats were in the offing. Get your stomach churning by reading our list of articles about what will certainly become one of the next great battlegrounds in a world where salt, butter, and soda pop are on a culinary hit list.
And check out what happened when lobsters invaded DC - in the form of very tasty sandwiches: