First lab-grown burger: Groundbreaking, a bit bland, and definitely not GM

lab burger bbc copy
Food critics tasted the first lab-grown hamburger, shown above.

On Monday, August 5, dutch scientists unveiled a hamburger made from beef grown in a lab.

The cultured beef, composed of muscle cells, was made by harvesting a sample of muscle tissue from a cow. They cut the tissue into small pieces and separated into fat and muscle cells. They they grew individual muscle-specific stem cells in the shape of a ring and cut the rings so that they formed strands, which were then layered to formed sheets of tissue to get the consistency of beef.

The testers described the patty as largely having the texture and juiciness of meat, though not the intense flavor typical of beef. Lab-grown beef isn’t considered a genetically modified food because the cells in the meat are derived from the same stem cells that grow into muscle cells in cows.

Read the full, original story here: Scientists Cook Up Lab-Grown Beef

Additional Resources:

  • Bring on the ‘Frankenburger’,” New York Times
    Andrew Revkin describes some of the benefits of lab-grown meat and notes that the lab grown burger bears the nickname “Frankenburger”–a moniker with a prefix more commonly associated with genetically modified foods.
  • Lab-made beef gets taste test,” USA Today
    Food author and GLP contributor Josh Schonwald was one of the first to taste the lab-grown meat.
  • Maastricht University: Cultured Beef
    Learn more about the research at the project website. 
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