Reviews for the world's first lab-grown burger are finally rolling in! The consensus? The burger is decidedly... not awful. Um, yay?
The burger is the creation of vascular biologist Mark Post, and was years in the making.
The five-ounce beef patty was assembled from thousands of teeny-tiny meat strips, cultured from the stem cells of a single cow (pictured here). It was prepared for and served today to food writer Josh Schonwald and food researcher Hanni Rutzler. Said Schonwald (pictured up top), after consuming a morsel of the layered flesh: "It wasn't unpleasant."
Everyone! The $330,000 burger was not unpleasant! Let us rejoice and be glad!
There is a leanness to it... I would say it is somewhere on the spectrum between a Boca Burger and McDonald's... The absence of fat makes a big difference. It has the texture, which I was not expecting. It was like an animal-protein cake. [Ed. note: aren't all ground-meat patties "animal protein cakes?"]
There is quite some intense flavor... The look was quite similar to meat. It has quite a bite. The surface of the meat was crunchy — surprisingly. The taste itself was as juicy as meat can be, but different. It tastes like meat, not a meat substitute like soya or whatever.
Juicy, but different!© Splendid!
Seriously, though. This lab-grown burger has been a loooong time coming, and it'll be interesting to see where it goes from here. Lab grown meat has massive implications for animal rights, conservation and sustainability – something that's important to remember even while we're poking fun at the Petri patty's middling reviews. For some of the most level-headed coverage of the lab-meat and its unveiling we've seen, check out this piece from Kai Kupferschmidt over at ScienceNOW, and find out why some scientists are calling this "the biggest agricultural revolution since the domestication of livestock."