The Brave New World of Food… courtesy of Sergey Brin

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Would they be labeled “non-GMO”? 🙂 

Google Co-Founder Unveils His Latest Moon Shot: A Test Tube Burger

GREGORY FERENSTEIN

Monday, August 5th, 2013
 
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Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin financed what could be the next revolution in food production: a test tube-grown hamburger. Dutch researchers unveiled a stem cell-grown 5-ounce beef patty at a public taste testing on Monday. The space-age burger has the potential to offset the extreme environmental damage caused by livestock and supply vital nutrients to the world’s hungry.

The $325,000 patty was produced from cow stem cells and cultured over the weekend, but lead researcher, Professor Mark Post of Mark Post of Maastricht University, estimated that it would be “10 to 20 years” before we could all be eating a McLab burger.

A 2011 Oxford University study finds that synthetic meat could require a mere 1% of the land and 4% of the water of current livestock methods, and use less than half the energy. Since the materials are extracted from the shoulder of a cow, there are limits to how much can be grown without a steady supply of livestock, which has the UK Vegetarian Society “officially interested”–but not officially excited–about the prospects of Brin’s project.

This is all very exciting for environmentalists, animal rights activists, and human rights fans. Yet, the maddening media reaction to this potentially revolutionary product was that the burger could be a tad tastier. “First reaction: Lab-made burger lacks flavor,” ran USA Today‘s headline. Or The Telegraph‘s “£220,000 lab-grown burger is eaten for first time – but needed ketchup.”

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