Speaking at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver this week, Post said the hamburger, made from cow stem cells, that he and his team have been working on will soon be ready. The project cost €250,000 (C$330,000), and was funded by an anonymous sponsor.
Post has transformed stem cells into small strips of tissues similar to skeletal muscles, but needs to produce thousands more to make the much-awaited hamburger. The scientist said this method of meat production would use 40% less energy than current livestock production.
Another researcher, Patrick Brown of Stanford University, is working on making meat substitutes from plant materials, with the ambition to also produce dairy in the future. He said the taste of these substitutes would convince even “the hardcore meat- and cheese-lovers who cannot imagine giving all this up”. Brown added: “Animal farming is by far the biggest ongoing environmental catastrophe.”
According to University of Missouri geneticist Nicholas Genovese, major meat producers Tyson Foods and JBS have shown interest in the new production techniques to meet the expected 60% rise in global demand by 2050.