Update: The lab grown burger which was created from 20,000 strands of laboratory-grown protein was tasted in London, August 5th. It was seasoned with salt, egg powder, breadcrumbs, red beet juice and saffron and tasted by nutritionist Hanni Ruetzler and journalist Josh Schonwald. Both claimed the burger had a meat like texture but that it lacked flavor due to low fat content contained within the meat.
Speaking about the first public artificial meat test, the scientist in charge of creating the burger, Mark Post, said: "It's a very good start."
Next week, at a hidden location somewhere in West London, a special selection of hand-picked guests will be invited to take a seat at a table for their slice of a £250,000 ($380,000) beef burger.
This is not a case of some burger PR man gone mad - stuffing unicorn milk glazed brioche with foi gras, gold bars and rare, hand massaged, demigod like cow in some vain attempt to create publicity for his latest fast food account, it's more than that, in fact, this is serious science.
That's because the 50oz $380,000 burger the guests will sit down to eat has in fact been created in a lab. Called "in vitro" it was produced by a team of scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and has been painstakingly created from 3,000 rice thin strips of artificial beef which is grown using bovine stem cells.
The scientist in charge of the research, Mark Post, hopes his work could lead to new ways for countries to meet the growing demand for livestock such as beef, lamb, pork and chicken. Using the new process developed by Post and his team, scientists could potentially produce millions times more meat using the stem cells of just one animal than if it was butchered for it's carcass.
Post hopes that next week's edible demonstration will act as a way to prove their work is safe and pave the way for artificial meats to be sold on a consumer level in the next 10 years.
Current agricultural methods of livestock production are certainly not sustainable with large amounts of green house gases emitted during the production and transportation of our food chain and our need for water, land and basic resources rising alongside populations steady growth, our need for alternative way of food production will only continue. One company in America, Modern Meadow, is even looking at the possibility of combining stem cell based research with 3D printing with the hope of one day setting a printer in the kitchen to produce fresh meat of your choice. Something that may sound like a futuristic dream but something that has already received financial backing from tech entrepreneurs like founder of Paypal, Peter Thiel.
The technology and regulation that goes alongside a product like this is a long way from being commercially viable but next weeks secret tasting will bring us one step closer to the very real possibility that our meat could one day be grown in a lab.
What do you think? Would you be one of the first to try this burger?