The Most Expensive Burger Ever Made?
This week in London, the most expensive hamburger in history will be cooked and served before an invited audience. Costing somewhere in the region of £250,000, the 5oz burger will be composed of synthetic meat, grown in a laboratory from the stem cells of a slaughtered cow
The scientist behind the "in vitro" burger believes synthetic meat could help to save the world from the growing consumer demand for beef, lamb, pork and chicken. The future appetite for beef alone, for instance, could easily lead to the conversion of much of the world's remaining forests to barren, manicured pastures by the end of this century.
The precious patty will be made of some 3,000 strips of artificial beef, each the size of a rice grain, grown from bovine stem cells cultured in the laboratory. Scientists believe the public demonstration will be "proof of principle", possibly leading to artificial meat being sold in supermarkets within five to 10 years.
SF writers have their own ideas about names for in vitro or cloned meats:
"Chicken Little from Pohl and Kornbluth's novel The Space Merchants .
"Carniculture from H. Beam Piper's Four-Day Planet .
"Pseudoflesh from Frank Herbert's Whipping Star .
"Vat-Grown Meat from William Gibson's Neuromancer .
"Food brick* from Larry Niven's Ringworld  (*they came in liver - raw liver - for kzinti).
"ChickieNobs from Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake .
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