By: John Verlinden*/TRT Columnist—
Did you happen to catch the recent story about a hamburger that was created in a laboratory? The hamburger, which was grown from stem cells of a cow, was unveiled at a press conference last month in London by Dr. Mark Post, a scientist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. It was eaten by a few “lucky” attendees. This was a significant achievement that raises all sorts of possibilities and questions about the future of our food supply.
While we won’t be sitting down to enjoy one of these “cultured beef” burgers at home or in a local restaurant anytime soon, many hours and over $300,000 were invested to produce this first burger. It marks the beginning of a whole new era in our relationship with food. Scientists at universities around the world are pursuing meat replacement projects, so we will continue to see progress in and growing debate about this area over the coming years. [pullquote]As a former full-time farm boy and current occasional cheeseburger enthusiast, I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of our meat being manufactured in factories instead of being raised on farms….[/pullquote]
As a former full-time farm boy and current occasional cheeseburger enthusiast, I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of our meat being manufactured in factories instead of being raised on farms, but I must admit the possibilities this development portends are pretty exciting. Cultured meat could become an important player in solving problems ranging from world hunger to global warming to animal rights. Imagine for a moment the possibilities: a viable alternative to meat from livestock without the devastating environmental and ethical impacts; sufficient, delicious and affordable protein for everyone everywhere; no more feed lots, birthing pens, cages or slaughter houses; significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and ground water pollution; and tremendous new opportunities as enormous tracts of land are freed up for other purposes.
*Stay tuned as this developing science progresses, and get informed. Share your thoughts with me about the potential and the problems you see, ask a question or suggest a topic for the future article. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.muchogusto.com and join our Latin food forum.
Until next time – ¡Mucho Gusto!, ¡Muchas Gracias! y ¡Buen Provecho!