We all know we won’t be able to sustain our current food supply in the future, but the question is, how will it change exactly? Most people agree we will have to start eating insects at some point, but creating and sustaining enough food to feed our growing population is more complex than just eating grasshoppers. Some people think we’ll 3D print our future food, others think we’ll recycle our own waste into food, and others think we’ll eat lab-grown meat from beef cells cultured in a bioreactor.
When I first read about this, my immediate reaction was that it sounded disgusting. After thinking about it more though, it’s probably a less invasive procedure than what happens when a cow gets turned into hamburger meat for example. This in vitro meat is much more environmentally friendly.
Dr. Mark Post and his colleagues from Maastricht University will soon serve up their lab-grown meat in the form of burgers made from a bioreactor. According to Popsci, “Cells are extracted from living animals and cultured in the lab on a diet of glucose and amino acids, where they grow into small strips of muscle tissue. In order for the tissue to be more than a flabby gel, it must be exercised regularly. Thousands of the strips pressed together amount to a burger’s worth of meat.”
It is inspiring from a science perspective to think that only a few cells from a cow can be lab-grown into a hamburger meat patty. The one thing still in question is how this lab-grown meat will taste. And, even if it tastes okay, will people view it as real meat or as just a petri dish experiment? After this is all presented later this month in London, I’m sure many of these questions will be answered. The idea would be that in the future, we could all create our own protein-filled lab-grown meat in our kitchens.