back to article First burger made of TEST-TUBE MEAT to be eaten on August 5

Boffins at Maastricht University, Netherlands have managed to grow synthetic beef from the stem cells of a slaughtered cow. But how does it taste? The world will find out next Monday, when the first hamburger made from the man-made meat is cooked and served at an unnamed "exclusive west London venue," as reported by The …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. ravenviz Silver badge

    I'm not entirely cowvinced this is a good moov.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who needs to eat. I am quite prepared to have my food grow in my stomach along with various other products. When i wish to "consume" i'm ready to connect to said device by bluetooth, press a1, or c2, or whatever vending machine code is programmed into it for whichever type of foods can be grown, type the pincode for my bank card to pay for it, and voila, a ready meal made in my belly without all that ridiculous chewing required.

      job done. trademarks, copyrights, registrations, patent pendings all mine. woooohhahahahaWOOOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    2. Toad_hog

      I agree. It's a cow-trastrpohe in the making...

    3. Muhammad Imran/mi1400
      Paris Hilton

      £250,000 .... There was a Quarter Pounder at McDonalds ... So how would a Quarter Million Pounder taste like !?! ...

  2. dssf

    I can just see a new Wendy's Commercial... "Where's the..."

    I can just see a new Wendy's Commercial... "Where's the BEEF?!"


  3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Good on them. Frankly, I can't see why this is a bad thing. After some requisite testing and paperwork we could really be on to some decent mass-market stuff here. The market for "real" meat wouldn't evaporate, but I suspect that the vatmeat would be significantly lower cost.

    This would move "real" meat into a luxury good position, probably not costing much more than it does today. (It will just seem "luxury" when compared to cheap and nearly-as-good vatmeat.) Seems like a win all-round.

    I suspect the first commercial application will see it's use in high quality pet food, and why not? Beats what's in there today. Or what's in a hot dog, for that matter...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I'll have to reserve judgment for the moment.

      This sounds a lot like processed food which would likely be monocultured and lacking in sufficient variability to contribute to a healthy diet.

      I get what they're trying to do, but seriously, the better solution would be to convince people that they really don't need to eat as much meat as they currently do, and that they should eat more fruit and vegetables.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        I disagree. The better solution would be to stop growing such shitty fruits and vegetables and get back to growing things with diversity and flavour. Then people might want to eat fruits and vegetables again.

        Until then, vatmeat sounds like an excellent way to get almost pure protein with zero fat content. Humans are omnivorous with a strong predilection towards carnivorous. No amount of personal ideology will change that. I am a homo spaien. I crave the flesh of my prey.

        That we can now produce this flesh using science just means I get better quality flesh that is far more of a "known quantity" than stripping it from the animal. "Processed food" isn't inherently bad. The question is "how is it processed" and "what is the nutritional balance it provides?"

        In the end, you are just shoving complex chemicals into your system. The source of those chemicals means nothing. There is nothing "better" about an organically grown whoswhatsit over a vat-grown thingamabob. Does it provide the chemicals required and does it taste good?

        A great example of "not tasting good" but "organically grown" are many of the cultivars of fruits and vegetables grown on today's farms..even organic ones. The cultivars we choose are chosen for hardiness, rapid maturity and other characteristics that make them economically viable. They are not chosen for flavour, chemical content and so forth.

        So we end up with stuff that's easy to grow and hard to kill but tastes like cardboard and is about as nutritious. Had a sprig of broccoli lately? Some farmers grow non-mainstream cultivars and the difference between these is night and day.

        What's under discussion here for meat is completely different. You take a cow - bred largely to be rapidly maturing with lots and lots of protein as well as tasty - kill it, take all it's stem cells and make...lots and lots of tasty protein. You are not genetically modifying it. You aren't changing the selection process we've been using for thousands of years. You're just getting way more meat from that one cow than you would otherwise.

        Eventually the stem cells hit the hayflick limit - yes, even in stem cells this is a thing - and you won't get any more meat from that cow. You then go get another cow - with different DNA, but largely the same cow thanks to thousands of years of selection - and repeat the process. This is exactly what we do with our cows today, except that it produces more meat per cow.

        The real advantage to vatmeat is that it gives you far better control over the amount of fat content - and extraneous additional content, like connective tissue, vascular tissue, etc - that enters the shipping products. In essence, you can use science to control the chemical content of your food far better than if you killed a cow and ate it.

        In theory this could allow for better food that was less bad for us but met our very homo sapien craving for the flesh of our prey.

        Now, if only they'd start producing different cultivars of common fruits and vegetables at mass scale so the stuff we can pick up at the market doesn't taste like cardboard, we'd be on the road towards a molecular gartronomist's nirvana.

        1. Alistair Silver badge


          God what I wouldn't do for a (red/green) Pepper that *TASTED* like one. Sadly, even the local "farmers market" suffers from the issue.

          At some point I will get to putting some of my monster back yard to work. I do recall how to do this "grow yer own" thing. I also recall the amount of effort to get it off the ground, I'm not 13 any more, and I doubt the 'teen's I have are interested.

          1. Charles Manning

            "what I wouldn't do"

            Clearly the answer is SFA.

            It is really easy to grow peppers - even organic heirloom - pretty much anywhere. Just needs a large plant pot. Can be grown on a balcony or even indoors.

            As for effort getting going it is not much. Have a read of

            Making excuses on the interwebs won't achieve anything.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Re: @TrevorP

            Buy an old (circa 1960's) rotavator off ebay, they are great fun and are brilliant at tearing up the soil. Mine is a Clifford and weighs a ton, there is nothing more satisfying than running it over my allotment and plowing in the monster weeds. Mostly I grow potatoes so I can use the furrowing tool I made from an old metal shelf.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I agree that vegetables could be better and tastier: tasteless strawberries are a particular bug bear of mine.

          However, I think you need to be more specific about what problem this technology is trying to solve.

          If we are trying to solve the problem of feeding people, then producing more meat to make people fatter and fatter is not the way. Eating too much meat is an ill that we are steadily inflicting on the developing world as they aspire to western culture. They should stick to their more traditional diets of mainly rice and vegetables and a supplement of meat rather than adopt our obsessive western culture of meat gluttony

          If we are trying to solve the energy/space problem of raising animals, then maybe you're right and I don't see much bad from it. The thing is, I'm not sure if the artificial meat would be necessarily interesting to eat, so as I said I reserve judgment until I see the product for myself.

          As an aside, we use to eat Quorn in chilli years ago, and although not meat at all, was actually quite tasty.

          I'm not averse to something else disguised as traditional meats as long as it's nutritious and tasty.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Actually, meat is pretty much the best thing you can eat, so long as you strip the fat our. Pure protein is what we're build to consume, not carbohydrates. "Eating too much meat" isn't an ill. It is "eating too much of anything." That includes fruits and vegetables.

            Meat is quite good for humans; we should be eating significantly more of it as a regular part of our diet and way less cereals/grains. But we would need quality meat for that, and we would still need to exercise portion control. Your personal objection to meat is lacking in essential science.

            The issue isn't the food consumed but the quantity. Vatmeat looks to be a top quality source of protien. I welcome it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > Meat is quite good for humans; we should be eating significantly more of it as a regular part of our diet

              No, sorry I have to disagree.

              Most people in the "west" eat, as a proportion, way too much meat: they eat it in preference to fruit and vegetables. We need protein, sure, but we also need fibre, vitamins and *some* carbs. The issue is not entirely about nutrients however, since our digestive tract needs certain things for health as well, including sufficient fibre, a relatively small amount of fat ( to carry fat-soluable nutrients) and water for a healthy gut.

              An awful lot of meals consist almost entirely of meat and grains, no vegetables *at all* thus leading to our obesity epidemic.

              Yes, we eat far too many carbs, but we eat far too few vegetables as a consequence.

              As you say, balance is what is required, but the over consumption of meat is the main driving force behind that imbalance.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                @skelband you are wrong. Eating meat is not "what is driving people to eat less vegetables." THey are simply choosing not to eat proportionately. You could just as easily say "eating cereals is causing people not to eat vegetables," yet you focus in on meat with no credible evidence whatsoever beyond bald assertion.

                We can get all the carbs and fibre we need from vegetables. There is no rational requirement for cereals in our diet at all. There are, however, all sorts of rational reasons why we should eat meat; our entire digestive system is designed for it, as a start. (Whereas we haven't evolved around cereals consumption quite yet.)

                Humans would be far - far - better off to simply stick to meat, fruit and vegetables and forgo the cereals altogether. We should be getting the bulk of our energy from protein and rounding things out with fruits and vegetables for additional required nutrients. So long as our total caloric intake is in line with our expenditure, we're good.

                For you to convince me that meat somehow leads to people not eating vegetables - or that it is somehow "bad" for you as a source of primary nutrition - you are going to have to supply hard evidence. You offer nothing but assertions that "we eat too much meat, therefore we eat to little vegetables." "Moderation" doesn't enter in to your dialogue, nor to you even begin to discuss the issues of overconsumption of fruits and vegetables (which contain little protein and lots of carbs.)

                Christ man, you can kill yourself by drinking too much water. The issue is moderation. Not what people are eating. You personal anti-meat crusade is backed by nothing.

                Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a very lean, very delicious bison steak waiting for me. Grilled to perfection on the BBQ. Yum.

                1. Grey Bird

                  I'm not sure what you mean by saying our digestive system is designed to eat meat. Are you trying to say we're carnivores? We aren't, we're omnivores. If we were carnivores we would have a much shorter digestive track and no grinding teeth. Our long digestive track and grinding teeth are specifically designed to get nutrition from fruits and grains. (Yes, grains. Despite what you've said we have evolved to consume grains, hence the teeth we have etc.) We also need proteins, such as meat, to be healthy. You are correct that what we need is a balance of nutrients to be healthy. Meats can be a part of that, but too much meat isn't good for us any more than too many sweets (aka carbohydrates.)

                  If this experiment works out, it at least would give us a way to create meat that is healthier for us, without all the antibiotics that current methods seem to prefer.

                  1. MJI Silver badge

                    Grinding teeth

                    Also evolved to be very good at breaking down meat

                  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    You will have to provide proof that we are evolved to eat grains. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and meat, yes. Not grains; grains require processing and that is something we have only learned to do recently (6000 years or so.) Our digestive tracts are optimized for processing meat in that we produce enzymes to break it down efficiently and we lack the ability to extract various types of nutrition from grains that we can only get from meat (and certain until recently rare legumes).

                    Cows, for example, are optimised for eating grains. They can extract all sorts of stuff from it that we can't and have no need of meat whatsoever. We, on the other hand, require fruits, veggies, nuts, and meat to be healthy. (Though with enough science you can compensate for the loss of any of those.) We don't need grains at all.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      > You will have to provide proof that we are evolved to eat grains.

                      There is growing evidence that grains, particularly wheat, is not particularly good for us and certainly not in the quantities that we consume it in,.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  > Eating meat is not "what is driving people to eat less vegetables." THey are simply choosing not to eat proportionately. You could just as easily say "eating cereals is causing people not to eat vegetables," yet you focus in on meat with no credible evidence whatsoever beyond bald assertion.

                  I think we're actually agreeing more than disagreeing here, and I'm probably conflating the issue of high fat/high carb intake with not having a balance diet.

                  The thing is though, here in Canada and over the border in the US, meal portions are very large and in many, many cases, they consist almost entirely of meat. We have a burger joint here in New Westminster called Burger Heaven that sells enormous burgers. Now, I like a burger now and then, but crikey, I couldn't down a plate of what they dish up in there. A massive burger in a huge bun, a big side helping of wedges swimming in oil (canola oil obviously) and a token vegetable effort. When that has been masticated down, the largest mass by far of the matter in the digestive tract is meat.

                  Now, yes they're fatty, full of carbs and the portion is enormous. This is not unusual, it is commonplace here.

                  Yes, I agree that replacing that fatty burger with a low-fat patty made of vatmeat would be an improvement, but strewth, it's not exactly a balanced meal, and would these people eat a low-fat burger? How on earth you reckon that we could generally do with eating more meat, I cannot fathom. Exactly how are some of these people going to squeeze in more veges and fruit if meat forms an even larger proportion of their diet?

                  Now I come back to my original point. As a technical exercise, growing meat in the lab is an interesting idea and it might have a great benefit for meat manufacture in terms of the energy, land use, killing animals and all the usual stuff that come from eating meat.

                  However, how much practical effect it will have on the nation's health I have yet to be convinced of.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Again, you are construing "meat availability" with "omg people will eat too much." You seem mentally incapable of disconnecting the two.

                    Look: the only reason we even need fruits and veggies is the nutrients. Take a fucking centrum and eat your goddamned steak. Keep your portions to the point that you are at 1500-2000 calories a day and you'll not only be fine, you be in the best health of your life.

                    Remember to eat liver because liver contains vitamin C and helps prevent scurvy.

                    Holy shit, wait, what, the old standby of "you need fruits to prevent scurvy" isn't even true? Wow! Science sure mooves me.

                    More here:

                    The problem is what we choose to eat and how much. It is not with meat as a food category, nor that fruits and vegetables will somehow change everything.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      > Look: the only reason we even need fruits and veggies is the nutrients.

                      The only reason we eat *anything*, including meat, is because of the nutrients.

                      Also, stop getting so fixated on nutrients. There are other physical needs that our digestive system has other than nutrients. We need sufficient fibrous material to carry it all through such that we don't get constipated, which we mainly get from vegetable matter. We need sufficient liquid. We actually need a small amount of fat to carry fat soluable nutrients and to exercise our gall bladder and thus avoid stones.

                      We should eat a balance of what our ancestors were evolved to eat which is meat + veg + fruit. It's not rocket science.

                      >Again, you are construing "meat availability" with "omg people will eat too much." You seem mentally incapable of disconnecting the two.

                      My original point, which you seem to have lost in your spasm of outrage is that this could be a really good idea. How we judge its future success depends on what problems it solves. If there is no problem for it to solve, then why would we even bother? We could just keep eating cow and be done with it.

                      If it is a viable solution to feeding people where meat is in short supply, and they're cool about eating it, and it proves to be nutritious and not detrimental to health, then great!

                      If we're looking to improve the health of western meat-loving nations, and improve the lot of animals and reduce the environmental impact of domestic animal farming then, again, great!

                      Will either of those things happen? Maybe. Maybe it's just a technical exercise and there is no higher aim, it's just a cool thing to do. Well that's also OK.

                      But if the second point is our aim, there are much better, cheaper ways of achieving it that don't have anything to do with vatmeat and it has to do with education and a return to the skills of cooking and respecting and loving food. Trying to tackle that particular problem with initiatives like vatmeat is pissing in the wind.

                      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                        The amount of fibre we need is actually fairly small and can be obtained by eating cuts of meat that westerners typically avoid. It is entirely possible for a human to survive off of nothing but meat and be healthy, though it is at least as hard as being a vegetarian, if not harder.

                        You are correct in that we should eat a mixture of meat, fruits and vegetables. Where we diverge significantly is that I do not believe that we "should" eat more of either category than is minimally required to make begin healthy easy. I.E. we "should" eat the minimum amount of fruit required to get the fibre we need if we prefer to skip the types of meat that would otherwise contain it.

                        We should make sure we get the minimum number of nutrients required to stay healthy from whatever combination of sources we enjoy; in fact, best to do the maths and find out what the optimal amounts are so that you can create a set of "staple foods" that you make sure to eat a minimum amount of every week.

                        Beyond that minimum what you eat "should" be what you enjoy up to your daily calorie limit.

                        I don't believe for a second that making meat cheaper and more available is a bad thing. I think there are all sorts of reasons to pursue vatmeat as a concept and I"m perfectly okay with making veggie huggers all angsty.

                        All that matters is that you get the nutrients you require (which includes fibre) and you stay within your calorie limits. You should eat any combination of things that you enjoy to get there. Any other advice is simply some jasckass imposing their morality on you, no different than a putz with a holy book on my doorstep before coffee o'clock.

                        And I'll treat them the same.

                    2. MJI Silver badge

                      RE: TP - Liver

                      Yuk - much rather get my vitamin C from fruit & veg.

                      More to the point, rather then force down and feel sick with liver I can get it at a higher concentration with those old favourites Brocolli and Sprouts.

                      I also have an orange a day.

                      Mixed diet FTW!

                      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                        Re: RE: TP - Liver

                        As it happens, I don't eat liver either. I think that's a British thing. The point is that we can survive - and quite healthily - entirely off of meat. That's part of being an omnivore. Whatever it is we eat we eat because we like it, not because we need one group or another.

                    3. Sweep

                      I'd rather not take a centrum thanks;


          2. kdh0009
            Thumb Up

            Agreed. I don't buy strawberries until I can get them from a farm within about 200 miles of where I live. Any further than that or out of season is totally pointless.

            On topic - I can't really see a downside to GM beef. Once they get it to taste the same and give the same nutrition, does it really matter where it came from? Especially when you consider all the side benefits of not turning half the world into a ranch.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I'm siding with Trevor here. First a few things I'd like to point out.

              1: Too much meat isn't causing obesity, too much sugar is. High fructose corn syrup, fizzy drinks, fruit juice, breakfast cereals (even teh healthy ones are crammed with sugar) everything we eat these days is crammed full of sugar, even things like meat pies and other savory dishes have a load of added sugar. This massive increase of sugar leads to a sudden increase in insulin production to make use of the sugar. This is what leads to obesity.

              2: We are omnivores, we are designed to eat both meat and vegetables. Humans can digest as much as 0.7g of protein per lb of lean body mass. That's basically meat for every meal in small portions or, what makes more sense, meat as a main component of dinenr, and a fair component in lunch.

              3: We're actually far more capable of digesting meat than we are fruit and vegetables. We extract the vast majority of nutrients from meat, we extract a much smaller portion from vegetables. Not to mention the fact that if we ate as went and replaced meat with fruit we'd probably die.

              4: At this point I'd like to say I'm not trying to say that meat is the only thing we need, but we do need it. In modern times you can supplement a lack of veges, you can't really supplement a lack of meat.

              5: A healthy diet consists of grains fruit vegetables and meat. Of those fruits should be eaten in the lowest quanities, followed by grains, followed by vegetables, followed by meat. I'm not saying that you should eat more meat than everything else combined however. It's more along the lines of cereals for breakfast, mixture of vegetables and meat for lunch and dinner, and fruit as a snack.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not French then, Trevor ...

    See title.

  5. Tomothy Toemouse

    Not made from poo, then.

    I saw this an wondered if it was related to the story about Japanese scientists making meat from poo. Having read it I know it's not, but how would the Reg title it? This story seems interesting but from here it sounds as though it's going to be a gristleburger until they work out how to make it softer.

  6. FuzzyTheBear

    Totally disgusting

    If i want meat ill go at my butcher period.

    This is as disgusting as it gets. Nothing good can come out of this.

    Reminds me of that pink slime of a few years back still in use in some fast foods.

    Enough to make me become a vegetarian and forget meat forever.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Totally disgusting is meat. "Meat" as you buy it from your butcher is the muscle tissue of an animal. This is the muscle tissue of an animal. The only real difference is the fat content and some of the associated supportive cellular structures (cardiovascular, nervous, etc) that IMHO aren't all that relevant anyways.

      Are you terrified of genetically altered corn too? OMG THE GMO BOOGYMANS!

      Look, you put it in your gullet, you chew a few times then it goes into a mucous-lined sack of muscle and connective tissue containing a PH 1 vat of hydrochloric acid and various enzymes. The bolus of food you chewed up is dissolved (well, mostly) until what's left is a slurry of proteins, amino acids, starches and variations on the glucose theme.

      The slurry is then passed into the intestines which suck as much moisture out of it as they are directed to and along the way they capture a lot of nutrients, proteins, glucose, etc. A lot of what they absorb as nutrients and "other" is actually "bacteria poo." See, you can't digest most of what you eat, but the vast amount of bacteria in your body can. So it does.

      The water and bacteria poo then enter your blood stream and are processed by the rest of your body. A body, by the way, that is also teeming with bacteria - mostly beneficial and symbiotic - that you nourish along with your own cells. Nowhere in here is your body able to tell whether or not the meat came from a cow or a vat, or whether or not the corn had a few genes changed in it's DNA.

      Hydrochloric acid really doesn't care.

      But you do. That's all in your head. Pure psychology. The hangups the stem not from nature, but from nurture. Which means, really, that liking it or not is totally up to you...but "disgusting" remains entirely in the eye of the beholder.

      Personally, I look forward to some vatmeat salami and hamburgers. I will probably be able to order it up with virtually zero fat content. Just a great big blob of cow protein and spices. Yum.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: Totally disgusting

        "Are you terrified of genetically altered corn too? OMG THE GMO BOOGYMANS!"

        Interesting addendum, the corn isn't genetically modified, the plant that produced it is. Although it's pointed out many times in debates that "normal" corn is identical to "GM corn" you still get the reaction you jokingly point to sadly.

    2. FredBloggsY

      Re: Totally disgusting

      "If i want meat ill go at my butcher period.

      This is as disgusting as it gets."

      Yep, most meat from butchers is pretty ill. However, pumped up with chemicals, antibiotics and stuff means it's economically satisfying for the producers which, presumably, trumps being healthy for the consumers.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Totally disgusting

        Butchers meat

        No it isn't full of antibiotics and hormones.

        They are expensive and can be dangerous, antibiotics are only used when an animal is ill.

        Source - related to a beef farmer

        1. FredBloggsY

          Re: Totally disgusting

          >No it isn't full of antibiotics and hormones.

          I actually said, "chemicals, antibiotics and stuff"

          Assuming, for the moment, that you've dealt with the antibiotics, that just leaves the chemicals and stuff used to maximise "efficient" production to be dealt with.

          But to return to the antibiotics, a quick Googling reveals myriad references, including much scientific and medical publication, which agrees with you about

          >expensive and can be dangerous

          and disagrees with you about

          >antibiotics are only used when an animal is ill.

          but, regarding

          >Source - related to a beef farmer

          perhaps you are implicitly more knowledgable and less biased about such matters than many mere scientific and medical researchers.

          So presumably beefy guys like Bovine Arnie -

          get to be like that just by working out at the gym. No chemicals involved. Cleaner than Lance Armstrong.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Totally disgusting

            Not just my relatives at the farm but it is common.

            Beef is not full of crap

    3. Steve Knox

      Re: Totally disgusting

      If i want meat ill go at my butcher...


      That's a different kind of meat than most of us want, methinks...

      (or about half of us if you read it another way...)

    4. sisk

      Re: Totally disgusting

      "Pink slime" (properly called lean finely textured ground beef, or LFTGB) is beef. If you were handed a plate of LFTGB and a plate of lean ground beef produced by a butcher you'd not be able to tell the difference, in appearance or taste, despite the lies (or, perhaps, ignorance....if I were feeling generous, which I'm not) of Jamie Oliver and NBC (who, by the way, are both on what looks to be the losing in of a very big lawsuit over it). If anything the LFTGB is both safer and healthier than 'regular' ground beef.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Totally disgusting

        > "Pink slime"

        Urg, kinda reminds me of the glop that the daleks tried to feed to the Doctor and his companions in the first Doctor Who film. No thanks.

        > (properly called lean finely textured ground beef, or LFTGB)

        No, you were right the first time.

        BTW, it is only technically called beef. It does contain a load of other items from the cow that most of us would not call beef at all. Pink shit would be a better name.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Totally disgusting

          Beef is any cut/part of cattle meat: Muscle, organs, testicles, tongue, etc, all beef.

        2. sisk

          Re: Totally disgusting

          BTW, it is only technically called beef. It does contain a load of other items from the cow that most of us would not call beef at all. Pink shit would be a better name.

          When you don't know what you're talking about you shouldn't talk. FTLGB is the made of the bit of meat too close to the bone to be easily gotten off with a knife. It's not, as some have suggested, from the intestinal cavity, offal, or any part of the cow that anyone who normally eats beef would be opposed to consuming. That's one of the points in the libel lawsuit I mentioned above.

          I have SEEN the stuff with my own two eyes as it's being packaged. Trust me, it's ground beef. You can not tell the difference, either in appearance or taste.

      2. FredBloggsY

        Re: Totally disgusting

        >safer and healthier than 'regular' [sic] ground beef

        And tastier, too, as suggested by Wikipedia...

        'highly mealy with bits and studs of cartilage-like matter


        USDA microbiologist claims the product does contain connective tissue "instead of muscle" and thus it is "not meat" and is "not nutritionally equivalent" to ground beef


        product sold by X introduces the trimmings to ammonium hydroxide (a solution of ammonia in water), while the Y product uses citric acid instead of ammonium hydroxide. Part of the manufacturing process at Y includes extruding the material through long tubes that are thinner than a pencil, during which time the meat is exposed to gaseous ammonia.'

        Yum, yum!

        1. sisk

          Re: Totally disgusting

          @FredBloggsY : And that proves the folly of using Wikipedia as a source. Basically none of what you said there is right. Look up what the USDA really says about it.

  7. dssf

    Can it compete with Bean Curd and Tofu?

    Can it compete with Bean Curd and Tofu?

    Or will its ability to compete rely on manipulating those two in tourd and beanfu?


    (Factually, though, I like both, including natto and kimchi. After months of eating kimchi last year in Korea (I also ate it a good deal in the US before then, for years), my health test results showed improvement over last year, despite the fact that in Korea, for 5 months, I did very little exercise compared to before going to Korea.)

    Also, is this beef-making process "multi-generational", as in, is it different from Dow/Monsanto/whomever with their genetically-crippled seeds that produces "sterile/non-multi-generational" seeds, the intent being to force farmers to endlessly return to the seed trough?

    And, how many generations of this meat product will make it OK for monks and vegans to knowingly consume without hesitation?

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: Can it compete with Bean Curd and Tofu?

      What does in the world does Kimchi have to do with Tofu? Kimchi's fermented cabbage with a ton of spices (usually, they do use other vegetables depending on where you are and when you're there). Tofu is processed Soy milk. Both are good and generally good for you, but they're not really related to one another except that Koreans eat both of them.

    2. Ian Yates
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Can it compete with Bean Curd and Tofu?

      "Dow/Monsanto/whomever with their genetically-crippled seeds that produces "sterile/non-multi-generational" seeds, the intent being to force farmers to endlessly return to the seed trough?"

      While I agree this does sound like some nefarious scheme to force farmers to continually buy GM seeds, these companies are not allowed to release GM products that are multi-generational, due to the fear that they will become the dominant version of the plant, displacing/replacing version 1.0*.

      * More likely 1.1 or higher, as we've domesticated the original.

  8. bjr

    Soylent Green is People

    Horrible idea

  9. Pet Peeve

    Apparently, this is called "shmeat", as in "sheets of meat cells". So you have "shmeatloaf", "shmeatballs". I need to look into trademarking "shamburger".

    I'm rather annoyed that PETA is in favor of the idea. I was really looking forward to all their brains exploding when presented a tasty hamburger that animal died making. We need more PETA members with exploding heads.

    1. FredBloggsY
      Thumb Up

      >So you have "shmeatloaf"

      Who sang "Shat Out of Hell"?

    2. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      @Pet Peeve

      Upvoted simply because you hate PETA. Great minds think alike!

    3. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Peta Peeve

      "I'm rather annoyed that PETA is in favor of the idea. I was really looking forward to all their brains exploding when presented a tasty hamburger that animal died making."

      Assuming you meant 'that no animal died making' then I'd point you at the bit in TFA that says "You basically kill animals and take all the stem cells from them"

  10. Fink-Nottle

    CITES Supper Club

    The technique would allow you to grow and eat the flesh of endangered species. I hear some rare tortoises are delicious ...

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: CITES Supper Club

      Everything tastes better when it is the last of its species.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. david willis

    The space merchants

    Artificial meat... Not a bad idea, now for the traditionalist sci fi fans - Frederick Phol, the space merchants, vat grown chicken little, fed to thousands of people every day.. And the catch? ... Read the book:-D

    1. Charles Manning

      Isn't that the point of SETI?

      Identify a protein source in outer space.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Isn't that the point of SETI?

        The Chinese?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You really think that's the meat you think it is anyway?

    think again.

    You say cow I say horse...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would eat it

    I've eaten crocodile burgers, kangaroo burgers, ostrich burgers, quorn burgers and soy burgers. I'll try this stuff for comparison.

    For reference, Croc needs cooking on a barbecue with some nicely smelly wood. Apple is good. Roo is just yummy and ostrich is a good all-rounder that never really disappoints. The vegetarian options are good enough for everyday.

    1. wowfood

      Re: I would eat it

      Loved ostrich burgers, i found kangaroo to be a bit dry, but it could have just been overcooked. What I want to try is wild boar.

      1. Ian Yates

        Re: I would eat it

        I loved Kangaroo steak when I had it. I'm sure it just depends on how it's cooked, like any meat.

        Wild boar is always a winner; especially the stuff I've had in the New Forest.

        1. wowfood

          Re: I would eat it

          They sell boar at / near the new forest? On a weekend off I could probably bike up the the new forest. If only I had a bike... and had bothered to learn to ride one...

  15. Graham Marsden


    ... there's a way of getting protein that's a hell of a lot cheaper, by using insects.

    Now of course most people's immediate reaction is "Eww! Insects...!" but, as a recent documentary showed, there are more than a few countries around the world where people are happily and healthily eating insects.

    To get away from the "It's a bug!" reaction, take the insects, grind them up, reconstitute and colour the protein, bung in some flavouring if you want and you'll have something which is basically what turns up in burgers these days anyway.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Don't worry, there are insect farms springing up left and right, and pundits punditing away that insect meat is the new Gold Rush opportunity.

      McGrasshoppers ? We'll get there.

      1. wowfood

        This reminds me of the ribwich from the simpsons.

        Krusty: Listen, about the Ribwich. We won't be making them anymore. The animal we made them from is now extinct.

        Homer: The pig?

        Otto: The cow?

        Krusty: You're way off. Think smaller...think more legs.

      2. FredBloggsY

        If is says McGrasshoppers on the menu, you can bet it'll be McMaggots in the 'bun'.

    2. FredBloggsY

      Re: Meanwhile...

      'To get away from the "It's a bug!" reaction, take the insects, grind them up, reconstitute and colour the protein, bung in some flavouring if you want and you'll have something which is basically what turns up in burgers these days anyway.'

      Much healthier / tastier than what turns up in burgers, Shirley?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To hell with artificial meat - I want someone to figure out how to grow an animal which can be killed to harvest Skittles.

  17. pete 22

    Tube Steak?

    Is this what they mean by "tube steak" in this the year of our lord 2013?

  18. skeptical i

    Having my doubts, withholding judgment until further testing's done.

    If it CAN produce inexpensive meat that acts nutritionally like (or better than) a slice of cow, pig, et cetera, fantastic. Solve waste disposal problems, too, if we don't need to raise as many real cows (and have as many feedlots washing who- knows- what into rivers and aquifers). Some concern about the "mother cow" whose stem cells will seed the process -- I hope Bossy will have been raised on grass and real food, not pumped full of Monsanto's finest chemical soups, antibiotics, growth hormones, et cetera.

    1. wowfood

      Re: Having my doubts, withholding judgment until further testing's done.

      I feel kinda sorry for the farmers though, think how many this may put out of business.

      Although I suppose all that farm land could be repurposed for agriculture. With all the cattle land moved to growing crops we may finally ge farms focusing on quality over quantity since y'know, not as much demand for quanityt as quality if there's more of it.

  19. Dragon Leaves

    Cloud Atlas?

    Considering recent findings showing that in the DNA strands of GMO foods, the GMO part doesn't stick well so to speak and finds better adhesion on the host (that's YOU!) it appears that we have no frigging clue what the hell we're doing and maybe, thus, just maybe, we shouldn't feed humans that sort of monstrosity until we're sure what it does to animal.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are all the Romania horse meat jokes?

  21. wowfood

    The burger is estimated to have cost around £250,000 ($383,875) to produce. That's roughly equivalent to 100,000 Big Macs at current UK prices, or almost 20 pounds of solid gold.

    It also contains more real meat than you'd find in 100,000 big macs.

  22. vogon00

    RE 'The space merchants'

    Synthi-meat? Sounds like someone is pulling a fast one here, make sure it's not 'Soylent Green' before tuckling in :-)

    This is all very clever, but the point escapes me - it must be cheaper and tasitier to grow one's animal protein in the traditional manner......oh, I see - this synthi-meat won't contribute to global warming due to it's lack of methane emissions :-)

    BTW, I believe 'The Space Merchants' was written by both Frederik Pohl AND Cyril Kornbluth - David Willis omitted Cyril Kornbluth from his credits, which means Mr. Kornbluth didn't get the recognition he deserved for such a cracking read :-)

    Sometimes I wonder if these two guys actually had managed to predict the future - now, to which advertising behmoth(s?) can we assign the 'Chlorella Protiens' role?

    Penguin 'coz that's what this stuff will taste like :-)

This topic is closed for new posts.