Would you pay £250,000 for a 5oz beef burger patty? Probably not yet. But while the price would seem understandably ridiculous for today’s standards, this form of beef may just be the answer to a sustainable food source for the long run.
In about a week from now, the world’s most expensive beef burger of all time will be cooked and served before an invited audience at an exclusive west London venue. The synthetic meat was grown in a laboratory from the bovine stem cells of a slaughtered cow, put together with around 3,000 rice grain-sized strips of artificially cultured beef.
But how exactly will this solve the looming world food shortage crisis? Mark Post, the Dutch scientist behind the bioengineered meat, stated that this method of meat production is far more efficient than the conventional farming methods that require vast amounts of land for both the livestock and the plants that will need to be grown to feed the livestock.
Dutch scientist Mark Post holds samples of in-vitro meat, grown in a laboratory. Photograph: via the guardian from Francois Lenoir /Reuters
According to an article in TIME, some scientists predict that the world’s population will grow to 9.2 billion by 2050 and in turn double today’s global food requirement. And if this should happen along with the negative effects of our seemingly worsening weather patterns, it will spark a catastrophic global food shortage that will leave hundreds of millions of people to suffer from extremely expensive food and water; the early effects of which has already begun emerging in certain parts of the world.
The scientists behind the project are confident that the bioengineered beef will taste no different from real meat and could be used in processed meat like sausages or hamburgers. But, according to a report on Euronews, scientists admit that it would be highly unlikely to grow growing a pork chop without a pig attached. Check out the video below for more.
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By Kenneth Lim