Scientists in the Netherlands are working on "cultured meat," grown in laboratories from leftover slaughterhouse animal material, and predict that the first lab-grown hamburger may be available in the next year.
The first burger will cost roughly €250,000 (US$345,000), according to Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht, due to the manpower and labwork involved. So far, whitish pale muscle-like strips around 1 inch long and thin enough to be see-through have been created. Supporters of lab-grown meat hope it will prove to be a sustainable, efficient, tasty alternative to conventional meat production.
"The idea is that since we are now producing it in the lab, we can play with all these variables and we can eventually hopefully turn it in a way that produces healthier meat," said Post. "Whereas in a cow or a pig, you have very limited variables to play with."