Saturday, February 25, 2012

Test-tube burger, anyone?

Today, Friday, February 24, 2012, Page T2, Wine & Dine
From http://imcmsimages.mediacorp.sg/CMSFileserver/documents/006/PDF/20120224/2402DWP076.pdf
Source Website: http://www.todayonline.com/WineandDine/EDC120224-0000016/Test-tube-burger,-anyone?
From THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
By Rose Prince, features@mediacorp.com.sg, 04:46 AM Feb 24, 2012



PHOTO: Test-tube burger, anyone?
By Stock Xchng, Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd
http://imcmsimages.mediacorp.sg/cmsfileserver/showimageCC.aspx?337&450&f=2169&img=2169_551186.jpg
http://www.todayonline.com/WineandDine/EDC120224-0000016/Test-tube-burger,-anyone?

Laboratory-grown meat is just the latest sci-fi food to fly in the face of public taste

It's a tale straight from the pages of the weirder realms of science fiction. A mysterious millionaire and a brilliant professor join forces with a single aim. To create Frankenburger: The world's first test-tube beefburger.



PHOTO: Would You Like a Bite of My Test Tube Burger?
£200,000 test-tube burger marks milestone in future meat-eating [Guardian]
Image via Andrjuss and Eugene Sim/Shutterstock.
http://cache.jezebel.com/assets/images/39/2012/02/72f8d4a06719ad1b18e4b7bb4b5f716a.jpg
http://jezebel.com/5886436/would-you-like-a-bite-of-my-test-tube-burger


Peculiar as it may sound, it's the future for our food, according to the academic in question, Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He plans to serve up the first burger this October after growing beef muscle in his lab, which will eventually become a juicy quarter pounder.



PHOTO: A strip of beef measuring 3cm by 1.5cm by 0.5cm. The Petri dish-bred beef is created using stem cells from bovine muscle tissue sourced from leftover slaughterhouse materials, Post explained.
http://static.culturemap.com/site_media/uploads/photos/2012-02-20/test_tube_hamburger_Petri_dish.800w_600h.jpg
http://austin.culturemap.com/newsdetail/02-23-12-test-tube-burgers-less-appretizing-than-pink-slime/


Post has grown small strips of beef muscle tissue using a cow's stem calls and serum taken from a horse foetus.

Just like all growing muscles, they are currently flexing away in order to become bigger and healthier - only, in true sci-fi style, they are doing so in a Dutch lab, held in place by Velcro and stimulated by electricity.

When fully grown, 3,000 of these muscles will be needed for one burger - and will cost an estimated £200,000 (S$394,583).



PHOTO: Coming soon, the test-tube burger: Lab-grown meat ‘needed to feed the world’.
From Sophie Borland, Daily Mail, June 27, 2011
http://www.infowars.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Screen-shot-2011-06-27-at-10.16.01-AM.png
http://www.infowars.com/coming-soon-the-test-tube-burger-lab-grown-meat-needed-to-feed-the-world/


Professor Post has big plans for his version of fast food. "Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells from," he says.

So who's the chef who will cook up this scientific experiment and launch a culinary revolution? You guessed it - Heston Blumenthal. And the lucky diner? To be confirmed, says Professor Post. "My financier will be the one to decide who will eat it ... (he is somebody) famous, everyone knows this guy."

But we will not learn his identity until his Frankenburger has proved a success.



PHOTO: Heston Blumenthal. (Absent dad: Busy with his food empire, he usually leaves his wife in charge of their children, Jack, 16, Jessica, 13, and Joy, 11).
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/02/26/article-1156002-03AB48F8000005DC-128_468x364.jpg
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1156002/Chef-Heston-Blumenthal-conquering-raging-temper-Gordon-Ramsay-look-like-wimp.html


While we shouldn't undermine credible efforts to solve the crisis in the world's food supply, rarely do the inventors of these technologies seem to understand why consumers are sceptical of their ideas and motives. There are dozens of examples of food technology "big talk" that has come to nought. Scientists and biotech companies grumble that their efforts fail because of bad press - yet it is often entirely their own fault that the public are so suspicious.



LAB BRAT(WURST)?

To begin with, they tend to make our stomachs churn. In-vitro meat production uses stem-cell technology and foetal material. How will we feel, eating the product of an animal that, never mind being kept in a factory farm, was never allowed life at all? Technologies such as this unnerve us because they interfere with the magnificently sedate process of evolution. We like to think what we eat is unaltered and as natural as possible.



PHOTO: The Dutch scientist Mark Post shows meat samples artificially developed at the University of Maastricht.
http://img.ibtimes.com/it/data/images/full/2012/02/21/10019-lo-scienziato-olandese-mark-post-mostra-campioni-di-carne-sv.jpg
http://it.ibtimes.com/articles/27410/20120221/hamburger-artificiali-mark-post.htm


I've always thought it was astonishing that we subject our food to far fewer safety checks than we do our medicines. After all, we can eat the same foods every day for a lifetime, making them more risky. Medicines are only consumed for short periods of time. Genetically modified foods, for example, are not as thoroughly investigated as GM drugs.

Cancer therapies using genetically modified organisms are rigorously tested over many years, yet pesticide-resistant wheat or soya needs only to be tested for three months - and tested on rats,
not humans. The use of stem cells to cure human diseases is being debated all over the world by philosophers and politicians. Why is it being cleared for use on our plates with such ease?

The technology is expensive, but Post hopes that expanding his operation will make it affordable. The reality is, though, that efforts of scientists to feed the world sustainably rarely see the light of day. Twenty years ago, biotechnologists created super-nutritious GM "Golden Rice", transforming rice with genes from a daffodil to add nutritious beta carotene. It was hoped it would reduce vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. But the project has encountered many technological difficulties and attracted opposition from pressure groups.

Supporters of in-vitro meat say that it will solve many problems - not just hunger. But what? In-vitro meat won't prevent greenhouse-gas emissions from livestock farms because dairy farms are a major source of methane, and milk cannot be made in a laboratory. Yet.


Coming this October: Test-tube hamburgers.
PHOTO: Coming this October: Test-tube hamburgers.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QJdqLNqeB3k/T0iflJU_ZdI/AAAAAAAARVo/4blWEHURm3Y/s1600/burger1.jpg
http://www.mid-day.com/imagedata/2012/feb/burger1.jpg
http://www.mid-day.com/news/2012/feb/210212-Coming-this-October-Test-tube-hamburgers.htm


FOOD WITHOUT FIELDS

Heston Blumenthal will surely employ all his powers to get the Frankenburger to taste decent. He is no shirker when it comes to using gadgets to enhance his cooking. It will probably need colour added to the flesh - Professor Post admits that the muscle strips are currently "pinkish towards yellowish" - and the flavour of well-hung beef needs replicating. But hey, a little hydrolysed vegetable protein, an unpleasant soya-based additive most often used in stock cubes to make them taste meaty, should do the trick.



PHOTO: How will we feel, eating the product of an animal that, never mind being kept in a factory farm, was never allowed life at all?
http://weeklyworldnews.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/testtubehamburgerse.jpg
http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/44226/test-tube-hamburgers/


It's not that I'm against growing protein, per se. Let's not forget Quorn, a vegetarian mycoprotein developed in Buckinghamshire using a soil fungus. Grown in tanks in oxygenated water, it develops from a single spore to a mass that can then be processed, given texture and sold as a meat alternative. It is not a mushroom, and it certainly does not taste like fungi, or anything else much. But it has made a lot of vegetarians happy and is 1,000 times less controversial than using genetically modified organisms and stem cell science in food technology.



PHOTO: Approximate the taste of meat but are, in fact, developed from a mycoprotein that comes from Fusarium venenatum, “which was originally discovered growing in a field in Buckinghamshire, England.
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/03/22/dining/dj-thai/dj-thai-articleInline.jpg
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/come-back-veggie-burger-all-is-forgiven/


NASA, contemplating putting astronauts in space for long periods, initiated the in-vitro meat project nearly 20 years ago. They hoped that one day, those sent to space could feed themselves from on-board "farms", which grew beef, pork, lamb and salmon. That, too, sounds like another great sci-fi story. But could it provide a clue to the provenance and funding for Frankenburgers?

Consider the three elements of this story: Space travel, mystery wealthy investor and great publicity stunt. It feels very Richard Branson (who's set to send tourists to space some time in 2013). If so, Sir Richard, let me whisper a little something in your ear: Please don't call it Virgin Beef.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
By Rose Prince, features@mediacorp.com.sg, 04:46 AM Feb 24, 2012


Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells from. Professor Mark Post.
PHOTO: Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells from. Professor Mark Post.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nhA2aZ1SOso/T0igzt5nZ2I/AAAAAAAARWo/PAW0IwuKRBM/s1600/Test-tube%2Bburger%252C%2Banyone.jpg
http://imcmsimages.mediacorp.sg/CMSFileserver/documents/006/PDF/20120224/2402DWP076.pdf
Today, Friday, February 24, 2012, Page T2, Wine & Dine



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