Hamburgers Grown in a Laboratory


Are you ready for this new “meat?”

A hamburger that looks like one you’d get at any fast-food restaurant comes with a price tag of $330,000 — and it isn’t even made out of natural meat. When volunteers taste it on Monday, in front of rows of VIPs and TV cameras, they’ll be eating the first publicly available burger that comes from a laboratory instead of a dead animal.

To produce the patty, researchers will mix lab-grown beef muscle cells with salt, egg powder and bread crumbs. Beet juice and saffron will be added to give a more natural color to the bloodless burger. It’ll be fried up in a pan, and seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper. With any luck, the burger should taste pretty much like your typical ground beef.

So why bother, when you can buy a burger made with real meat for no more than a couple of bucks?

The high-profile tasting in London is part of a years-long campaign to grow artificial meat without having to raise and kill billions of livestock animals — and as a result, head off a looming food crisis. Even the researchers behind the campaign acknowledge it could take a decade or more to turn lab-grown meat into a commercially viable alternative. But they see the effort as an environmental imperative.

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