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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191 comments

Dale O.

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.

Dale O.

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.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants2 years ago

Petri-dish ants would be more humane...

Syd H.
Syd H.2 years ago

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).
http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/saving-the-world-with-livestockthe-savory-approach-examined/

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):
http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/gone-native/Content?oid=931212

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:

Camille F.

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.

Franck Rio
Frank R.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Mary T.
Mary T.2 years ago

no thank you for a petri dish burger

Genoveva M.
Genoveva M M.2 years ago

Thanks