Lab-Grown Burger $345K

In-vitro meat, aka cultured meat aka petri pork could be coming to a burger joint near you. If they can get the prices down.

According to Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, the first lab-grown burger will cost about $345,000.

(Cultured or in-vitro meat looking tasty)

Using stem cells harvested from leftover animal material from slaughterhouses, Post nurtures them with a feed concocted of sugars, amino acids, lipids, minerals and all other nutrients they need to grow in the right way.

So far he has produced whitish pale muscle-like strips, each of them around 2.5 cm long, less than a centimetre wide and so thin as to be almost seethrough.

Pack enough of these together - probably around 3,000 of them in layers - throw in a few strips of lab-grown fat, and you have the world's first "cultured meat" burger, he says.

SF fans' mouths have been watering for vat-grown meat since H. Beam Piper wrote about the idea in his 1961 novel Four-Day Planet:

I went on telling him about our hydroponic farms, and the carniculture plant where any kind of animal tissue we wanted was grown--Terran pork and beef and poultry, Freyan _zhoumy_ meat, Zarathustran veldtbeest.... He knew, already, that none of the native life-forms, animal or vegetable, were edible by Terrans.

"You can get all the _paté de foie gras_ you want here," I said. "We have a chunk of goose liver about fifty feet in diameter growing in one of our vats."
(Read more about carniculture plants)

Via Vancouver Sun; thanks to an anonymous reader for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/13/2011)

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