The In Vitro Burger is Here and it Tastes Like a 'Protein Cake'

Illustration for article titled The In Vitro Burger is Here and it Tastes Like a Protein Cake

As someone who has spent a small eternity inside of a White Castle at 2 am, I know the pains of waiting an extremely long time for a slab of seasoned ground-up meat. And now I can breathe a sigh of relief: the longest meat-wait in recent memory is finally over. After five years of research and months in the lab, the hamburger grown in a laboratory has at last been taste-tested.

The labburger was created by painlessly harvesting muscle cells from a living cow; the muscle cells were then put into a nutrient solution and developed into muscle tissue. WE SUCCESSFULLY GREW MEAT AND NO COWS WERE HARMED. If you are not freaking out, then I don't know what to do with you because, clearly, nothing will move your heart of stone.

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In order to synthesize a 5 ounce burger, this project required 20,000 hand-grown strands of muscle tissue and cost around $332,000 ā€” so you won't be getting it out of a vending machine in the basement of your college dormitory any time soon. According to the project's website, however, Cultured Beef will be available commercially within 10 to 20 years.

If you're really into the lab-meat (as you should be), you can watch a livestream of the Cultured Meat panel here. According to one of the taste-testers, it had the flavor of a "protein cake." I'm sold.

"Scientists to serve lab-made burger from cow cells" [TIME]

Image via Ari N/Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

Meh.

The people involved are a bunch of self-promoters, and have a tech fetish. They claim it'll be available commercially in 10-20 years... yeah huh, sure. To whom? Anyone who thinks this is a viable replacement for actual protein-from-animals isn't thinking about how this is going to be distributed; it sure as hell won't be showing up in impoverished countries, drought-torn lands, or other places where it's nearly impossible to farm crops, so animals are used instead to you know, generate food.

On top of that, they had to drench the thing in a bucket of butter to make it palatable - because it has no fat. So while it might be "vegetarian-friendly" - if, that is, you don't eat meat due to ethical concerns - it's certainly not vegan friendly. Not to mention the fact that it had to be drenched in butter should tell you about all you need to know about its taste.

Gah. So tired of the Oxford self-promoting technofetishists.