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.
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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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- livestock farming
the farming of animals such as cows, chickens and sheep
- to satisfy
to meet a need
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
people who work with a certain type of technology (in this report, food)
- development process
the steps in creating a new product or method