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Would You Eat a Petri Dish Burger?

Would You Eat a Petri Dish Burger?

To reduce the environmental impact of livestock farming, scientists are developing a futuristic anti-dote — lab-grown burgers. It is widely known that the commercial meat industry is very wasteful, using mass amounts of water, land, and resources, while emitting huge quantities of foul gases. Perhaps most importantly, large-scale factory farming is often cruel and inhumane. With the population of the world rapidly increasing, we need to find a more sustainable way to feed the masses. Is lab-grown meat the answer?

This cultured meat is simply a muscle grown in a petri dish. No animals are killed or harmed in the process. Scientists take a small muscle biopsy (which doesn’t harm the animal), and multiply the cells in the lab until a full muscle forms. They even exercise and flex the muscle to promote health and texture. Theoretically, it will be more efficient, take up less land, and use less resources than modern meat farms. But, still in its early stages, the cultured meat doesn’t taste nearly as good as a fresh, grass-fed hamburger (according to the two tasters so far). The company responsible, New Harvest, is still continuing their research to make these burgers more desirable and ensure their equivalent nutritional value. Check out these videos from TED to hear Dr. Mark Post, the creator of this synthetic meat, talk about the world’s meat crisis and his work.

If you are sitting wide-eyed and shocked right now, don’t worry! One burger patty currently costs $330,000 and the means for commercial production won’t be available for another 10 to 20 years — once it has been thoroughly tested and tasted that is. But if they do succeed in replicating a perfect beef patty in the lab, the question remains — would YOU eat it?

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at


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6:32PM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

Very true, Rosemary W.

Conservation grazing is most interesting.

Petri dish ants, eh...Anteater A? I would think that they would have tasted more flavourful if they lived outdoors.

6:29PM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

No, but I would not eat GMO food either.

Food should be raised organically, pastured raised without GMO, growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or grown in some lab petri dish.

11:55PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

Thank you.

11:54PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

Thank you.

7:40AM PDT on Sep 5, 2013

Petri-dish ants would be more humane...

6:08AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Rosemary, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner about grazing issues.

Here is a page that explains it well (there is also an entire book that explains in much more detail including the issues in other ecosystems).

It's not just the eradication of wolves, but other grazers -- such as deer, elk, moose, horses and even prairie dogs who compete for the food sources -- to protect the cattle ranchers investments. Even if you care little for the badgers then perhaps it bothers you the tax funding that goes into this as another entitlement, welfare giveaway to livestock producers (who rarely are small landholders). And then there is also the loss of far more important economic diversity (read about Pine Nuts and the BLM as one example):

Further, it was not until Columbus happened really that domesticated animals spread around the world. So, the pig, the chicken, the cow, the sheep/goat, are not native to most of the world which is now being deforested and facing desertification on a unprecedented level:

11:13AM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

Of course I would. Nobody dies to produce cultured muscle meat. If you say "blech" to this, are not vegetarian and support the humane treatment ... you're a hypocrite.

3:18AM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

Thanks for sharing

7:27PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

no thank you for a petri dish burger

3:36AM PDT on Aug 30, 2013


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