Dutch scientist to make cultured meat in labNovember 17th, 2011 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 17 (IANS) A scientist from the Netherlands is hoping to grow “cultured meat” in his laboratory as an alternative to livestock farming to satisfy the world’s growing hunger for meat.
Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht, said he will grow 3,000 thin strips of meat in a petri dish, then pack them together with some lab-grown fat, Sky News reported.
The “cultured meat” grown in the laboratory will contain no blood, and the flesh will be pale, he said.
The finished product is likely to cost at least 200,000 pounds (around $315,660).
“The first one will be grown in an academic lab, by highly trained academic staff. It’s handmade and time and labour intensive, that’s why it’s so expensive to produce,” he said.
“Cultured meat” begins with stem cells harvested from slaughterhouse leftovers.
Post is nurturing the meat cells with a liquid feed containing sugars, protein building-blocks, fats, minerals and other nutrients.
So far, he has produced strips of meat 2.5 cm long. But like muscle, these strips need to be exercised to grow, by stretching them repeatedly.
He says the world needs an alternative to livestock farming.
“Current livestock meat production is just not sustainable. Not from an ecological point of view, and neither from a volume point of view. Right now we are using more than 50 percent of all our agricultural land for livestock,” he said.
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Tags: academic staff, agricultural land, biologist, building blocks, dutch scientist, fats, finished product, flesh, hunger, leftovers, liquid feed, livestock, meat production, minerals, nutrients, petri dish, point of view, sky news, stem cells, thin strips