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In August of this year, the first in vitro hamburger was served. It took five years to transform stem cells taken from a cow’s shoulder into an edible hamburger, but eventually the lab-grown patty was ready to be grilled, plated and eaten in front of a curious crowd in London. Upon consumption, the hamburger was described as “lean,” “not that juicy” and “close to meat.”
Not exactly glowing reviews, but hey, not bad for something made in a petri dish! The hamburger looked like any hamburger you might order at a fast food drive-through, but a value menu burger this was not—when the experiment was all said and done, the world’s first in vitro sandwich ended up costing more than $300,000.
If the idea of eating lab-grown meat freaks you out, don’t worry. We’re still decades away from in vitro meat being anywhere close to a consumer product. But you have to admit: It’s pretty fascinating to think about what’s possible. If we can grow a hamburger, who’s to say someday we can’t grow a porterhouse steak? Or a kabob? Or something even weirder like knitted meat?
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