Today in London, the world's first in-vitro burger patty was cooked and eaten. Financed by Google founder Sergey Brin, the two-year, $325,000 University of Maastricht project involved the culturing of stem cells taken from the shoulder muscle of an organically raised cow. About 20,000 bits of muscle fiber grown in Petri dishes joined egg powder, salt, breadcrumbs, beet juice and saffron to form a 5-ounce patty. The result? According to the guinea pigs, a kinder, more sustainable and fairly tasteless sandwich.
|a REAL burger from Big Jim Burger at JNJ Burger Shack|
Quoted in a New York Times story, Chicago writer Josh Schonwald likened the burger to "an animal-protein cake." While they opted for an austere presentation, both Schonwald and fellow taster Hanni Ruetzler, an Austrian nutritionist, bemoaned the dearth of condiments, listing ketchup, onions, jalapeños, bacon, aged Gouda and even salt and pepper as additions they'd welcome. Not only did the lab-raised burger underwhelm in the flavor department, its production is for now, ironically, unsustainable and far too costly for the average concerned consumer.More »