Lab Debuts $330K 'Frankenburger'

First synthetic burger almost ready to serve
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2013 9:06 AM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2013 7:50 AM CDT
Lab Debuts $330K 'Frankenburger'
Researchers say producing the world's meat in labs would use 99% less land than livestock.   (Shutterstock)

After years of research into lab-grown meat, it's finally patty time. A burger made of synthetic beef will be cooked and served before an audience at one of London's finest restaurants next week, reports the Independent. The "Frankenburger"—which cost $330,000 to develop—is made up of thousands of strips of artificial muscle and fat grown from stem cells in a process scientists say could transform the meat industry, drastically reducing its impact on the planet.

"Right now, we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You are going to need alternatives," says Dutch scientist Mark Post. "If we don't do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive." Researchers believe that if this "proof of principle" serving is a success, in-vitro beef could be on supermarket shelves within a decade. So who gets to try the most expensive burger ever made? An anonymous donor has bankrolled most of Post's research and sources say the donor may also be the diner. (Read more meat stories.)

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