Artificial meat

Artificial Burgers



beef stem-cell carbon footprint
grill disorder cardio-vascular
cell artificial cultured (2)
sample feasible test-tube
texture barbaric tissue (2)
harvest sensation consumption
soar poultry at some point






The hamburger sizzling on the grill here is beef from a cow.

But one day, that will change if he has anything to say about things.

Mark Post wants to revolutionize meat production — by growing it in the laboratory.

Mark Post, Professor of Biomedicine: “Well, I think it would be better because it has a smaller carbon footprint, and so it’s better for the environment. And we need much less resources to actually produce it.

So that we can produce much more meat, with much less resources, so that we can feed the entire planet.”

In the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands, Post has already started turning his vision into reality.

He’s actually a doctor, a specialist for cardio-vascular disorders.

But he’s also been working on a method to grow beef using muscle-cells from a cow. The stem cells that he and his team use can be harvested from a piece of steak or from a living cow . . . without slaughtering it.

Out of a few cells, they can end up with more than ten tons of meat.

It looks like ordinary beef — the team made its first burger in 2013.

But it wasn’t for sale: it cost €250,000 to produce.

Mark Prost, Professor of Biomedicine: “I just wanted to show it can be done. It’s technologically feasible to do. And by the way there were also lots of reasons why we should do it.”

The taste test in London was something of a media sensation.

The pricy burger tasted good, say Post . . . but not perfect.

Hanni Rutzler from Austria — she is from the Future Foods Studio — tasted it.

She said it was meat; that the texture was nice . . . but it was still a little bit dry, because there was no fat in it.”

The researchers are now working on improving the flavor: that means growing a different type of cell.

Here we have a sample where we create fat tissue; so these “spaghettis” are spaghettis of fat cells.”

Post says seven years from now, we might find test-tube burgers on restaurant menus, a method that could also be used to produce artificial steak, poultry and pork.

Mark Post: “My personal vision is that at some point, 20, 30, 40 years from now, we will all eat cultured beef — no longer from animals.

And we will probably look back at this time as sort of “barbaric”: that we still killed animals and used animals to such a degree for our meat consumption.”

If global meat consumption continues to soar, lab-grown meat might have to hit the market sooner than that.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. Professor Mark Post wants everyone to become vegetarians. Is this right or wrong?

2. Does Dr. Post currently work in a hospital? What is his background?

3. What is the method or technique he and his team is using?

4. The tasters on TV said the lab-grown beef was better than conventional beef. True or false? How could the scientists improve the meat?

5. The lab burger costs $3.30 to make. Yes or no? Is the test-tube meat cheaper, the same price or more expensive than ranch meat?

6. Will lab-grown meat be limited to beef? What does Dr. Post envisage for the future?

7. Is artificial meat just a fad or is it really necessary for the world?

8. Mark Post is primarily motivated by money, profits and fame. Is this correct or incorrect?

A. What do you think about artificial meat? Would you eat it?

B. Are most of your friends primarily carnivores, vegetarians or omnivores?

C. What do you think will happen in the future?

D. What will be the social, philosophical, environmental and economic impact of this?

E. Should scientists continue to improve on creating and producing artificial meat?

Comments are closed.