A $300,000 hamburger may save the environment
On August 5,2013, food critics in London, England were served a beef patty. This patty was no McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. This patty was grown from cow stem cells in a laboratory by a team led by Mark Post, a tissue engineer based in the Netherlands.
A traditional beef patty requires three kilograms of feed grain, over six kilograms of CO2, nearly seven square metres of land, and 200 litres of water to produce, according to humanity+ Magazine. And the demand for meat is only rising; a UN report estimates that 460 million tonnes of meat will be consumed annually by the year 2050.
If grow-able meat becomes efficient enough to come to market, it could eradicate most of the waste resulting from raising livestock. Post hopes to bring the product to market within 20 years.
However, not everyone thinks this goal is achievable. Daniel Engber, a columnist for Slate Magazine, wrote an article subtitled: “Growing burgers in the lab is a waste of time.” Engber believes that the processes needed to make lab-grown beef taste and look like traditional beef make is almost no different from existing meat alternatives.
Whether or not the idea will catch on is for the future to divulge. What is certain is that the price tag will need to fall from €250,000 (approximately $355,847 CAD) per patty before you or I can partake in a livestock-free hamburger.
If grow-able meat becomes efficient enough to come to market, it could eradicate most of the waste resulting from raising livestock.