Last updated at 16:51 BST, Monday, 05 August 2013

World's first lab-grown burger

Summary

5 August 2013

Researchers are unveiling the world's first lab-grown burger in London today. The burger has been grown from stem cells taken from a dead cow. It has cost £215,000 to grow but researchers believe the technology will eventually reduce the cost of meat production and meet growing demand.

Reporter:

Pallab Ghosh

A sample of lab-grown meat in a petri dish at Maastricht University in the Netherlands

Would you eat a hamburger that was grown in a lab?

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Professor Post is developing a way to grow meat in a lab because he believes that livestock farming is not good for the environment, not good for animals nor, he says, is it going to satisfy the growing demand for meat.

His aim is to produce a burger that looks and tastes just like the real thing but from what I saw at his lab, that is still a work in progress. The flesh, grown from stem cells, is pale white and tasteless, so food technologists have had to mix in breadcrumbs, caramel and saffron to add flavour and beetroot juice to add colour. The mixture is then put together to make the burger that will be cooked and then eaten by two food writers.

Initial testing, during the development process, suggests that it won't taste great, but according to Professor Post, it will taste good enough.

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Vocabulary

livestock farming

the farming of animals such as cows, chickens and sheep

to satisfy

to meet a need

demand

the amount of a product or service that people want

the real thing

the original, not a copy

a work in progress

something that is happening or being done

stem cells

cells, usually from a human or animal, that can develop into any other kind of cell

technologists

people who work with a certain type of technology (in this report, food)

development process

the steps in creating a new product or method

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