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World’s first stem cell burger unveiled

06 August 2013

The world’s first stem cell burger has been cooked and consumed in London, comprised of 20,000 small strands of meat grown from a cow’s muscle cells. 

Image courtesy of David Parry / PA
Image courtesy of David Parry / PA

The burger, which took three months to create was presented by Maastricht University's Mark Post at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London, in front of more than 200 journalists and guests. 

"Today's presentation is only a proof of concept that it's not science fiction," said Post. "However, there is still an efficiency issue and it remains expensive to develop."

The research and development phase of the burger lasted four years, costing around $330,000 mostly through an anonymous donation. 

"I'd be perfectly comfortable with letting my kids eat it," Post asserted. “I think most people don't realise that the current meat production is at its maximum. We need to come up with an alternative."

Meat consumption is expected to rise nearly 73% by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Post believes that his research into laboratory made food could solve the looming food crisis and says cultured beef does not burden the environment, while putting an end to animal cruelty.

The cultured beef could end up on supermarket shelves within the next 10 to 20 years. The next step for Post and his team will be to work on how to get fat into the burger.

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