Beef from a Test Tube
On August 5th, 2013, Hanni Rützler, an Austrian researcher, and Josh Schonwald, a food writer, ate a beef burger in London. Only this wasn’t any ordinary burger; the beef – and it was indeed 100 per cent beef – had been cultivated using tissues from a living cow, and then further grown inside a lab.
The revolutionary meat had been created by the Cultured Beef team, led by Dr. Mark Post, of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and Cultured Beef isn’t the only team advancing the future of food. Companies like Beyond Meat and Hampton Creek Foods are trying to shape plants into vegetarian meat and eggs which taste just like the real thing.
But the question is why? Meat production today is responsible for a host of environmental as well as health problems, and scientists warn that our current system of meat consumption just isn’t sustainable; the global demand for meat is predicted to outstrip supply in the next 50 years. Thanks to these food start-ups, it might not be too long before we’re all eating meat burgers which no animal had to die for.