February 20th, 2012
11:54 AM ET

One stem cell burger: $330,000

If you're concerned about the ethics of livestock production but don't want to become a vegetarian, consider this: It may be possible to grow meat in a petri dish.

Dr. Mark Post, professor of vascular physiology at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, is working on creating meat from bovine stem cells. And he's planning to unveil a burger created this way in October, he said Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

Croplands and pastures occupy about 35% of the planet's ice-free land surface, according to a 2007 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

"Meat consumption is going to double in the next 40 years or so, so we need to come up with alternatives to solve the land issue," Post said.

Post's financial backer, whose identity Post would not disclose, is providing 250,000 euros (about $330,000) toward the development of this hamburger. And the financier has the right to choose who will be the lucky person to taste this futuristic burger, Post said.

The scientists say their creations are not quite at the level of hamburger, though - samples from cultures are currently about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) long and weigh only half a gram. That's too small to cook. Post hasn't tasted it yet himself.

To get the samples bigger and more burger-looking, scientists may grow them on a spherical surface. Eventually they'd like to be able to create big slabs of meat, Post said.

The color is pinkish-yellowish, and Post and colleagues would like to make it look more appetizing in a natural way. Meat in typical hamburgers gets its color partly from blood. One way to make the stem-cell meat more authentic-looking is to use caffeine to coerce the cells to produce more myoglobin, a type of protein that carries iron and oxygen.

Apart from the "meat," scientists need to grow fat separately, for the juiciness and taste of the final product.

Right now the process doesn't involve harming animals - researchers are using leftover materials from slaughterhouses. But in the future, the process could use animals that would be killed so that all of their stem cells could be harvested, he said.

You could get about 1 million times as many burgers from a single cow using these stem cell methods as you would from traditional processes, Post said.

But obviously Post's process is expensive and requires a lot of effort.

So how long will it take until the process of making stem cell burgers becomes more efficient than regular burgers?

With the resources Post and colleagues have right now, it's never going to happen, he says. With unlimited resources, it would still take 10 to 20 years.

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Filed under: On Earth
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Tien Offenberger

    Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. ^

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    April 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
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    April 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  3. BK

    The guy in the end of the video says that he would rather know that his meat "had a face" and not from a "petri dish" but for me honestly, i find it more repulsive to eat something that "had a face" and was alive/breathing...i would rather if it didnt "have a face". i wouldnt mind eating human made meat. eating something killed at some abattoir is more disgusting imo

    October 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  4. Marlon

    Great article and great idea!!!There is also a place scoras the river in Pekin that has a super size pan pizza challenge. I call it the Big Daddy I and II. Sunset Lanes as two sizes a single person (5 1/2 pounder ) and a two person (9 pounder). You get one hour to finish it and it's free with a T-Shirt. Also they put your picture on their Wall of Fame (if you make it) or the Wall of Challengers (if you don't). Is there a possibility this could be added to the list? Figure the more opportunities around Peoria to tape the more likely the show will come. One other thing. Had a lot of fun eating the Big Daddy and as full as eating the Big Burrito in Las Vegas (the one Rich Adams had).

    April 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  5. Bud

    Very good write-up! I'm also going to create a blog post about it... appreciate it

    February 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Shorty

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      April 6, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  6. helenecha

    As a consumer, I'd like to say that an acceptable price must be considered before they're being tasted delicious. But I'm not sure whether scientists would not care a lot about the fact that our livestock indeed used not to have the feelings with those created meat. Well, let’s believe those stem cell must be fashionable.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  7. Mikey

    "the ethics of livestock production..." that sentence makes me want to vomit. Animals have killed other animals for food since the beginning of whenever you choose to believe the food chain started. Humans rose to the top over whatever span of time you choose to believe, and optimized the process in which we harvest the other animals for our consumption. Would I rather have meals still be a challenge and hunger a motivator... of course, but that is unrealistic at this point. Yes I agree that the slaughterhouses should have stricter guidelines, but with that, costs increase and there are just simply too many humans to feed for that to happen.

    MEAT IS NOT MURDER, MEAT IS FOOD. If you believe the meat is murder, vegan-atarian nonsense then please, go arrest a pride of lions for eating. And zoos don't count.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • BK

      by "ethical" dont they mean meat production which takes into consideration the environment? that's what i thought.
      plus right now, most of the world's grain is eaten by cows for meat production, when the grain can be used to feed starving ppl in third world countries...i think that's what they mean by "ethical" production

      October 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  8. enkephalin07

    Let PETA finance it.

    February 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  9. Letalis Metal

    HA! Animal cruelty? You people are worried about animal cruelty? What world do you live in? I don't support the rash actions such as torturing dogs for no reason(makes no sense) but these animals are part of the food chain! We can eat them! Cows, pork, fish etc...we are at the top of it all why don't we use it to our advantage? Veagans are idiots, they don't want to kill life yet you know a cell is a life? Eating is the act of consuming life so that you can live. A true "veagen" would starve themselves to death! Producing this artificial meat is not a bad idea! More options please! In any case when there is a food shortage and people start starving I'm sure the veagen fools will realize how mother nature was setup. EAT OR BE CONSUMED, Why have we all forgoten such an important fact? Well there is only one way to remember, the hard way.

    February 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  10. Abby

    We've been trying for ~100 years to perfect infant formula, and we still can't replicate mother's milk. I don't trust scientists to be able to successfully replicate meat either, I'll stick with the real stuff.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Allison

      Been reading Michael Pollan?? I love that man's work.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  11. ann-marie

    This is so ridiculous and scary. This method will not save the world! We need healthy soil and sustainable farming. We need to make the most out of all the land we have and stop the waste of food. Our world needs to demand real food without toxins, pesticides, irradiation, and genetic engineering. Our food has loss most of its nutritious value because the soil is depleted by commercial farming practices.

    People need to wake up and know what they are putting in their mouth. Real food is all we need.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • martin

      if you read the article you would know that that is not possible. If you read the article you would know that meat sonsumption would doulble in 40 years, and we would not have the farmland to produce enough... READ! I find if a bit crazy, but it is what it is.,...

      February 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Richp

      We really need to cut down on the uncontrolled births going on, the first world countries are already down to a more or less replacement level, the 2nd and 3rd world need to also reduce their births and population growth, if they did not have 10 kids and instead only had 2 they might actually be able to feed them.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • D

        Why don't you start the good work by having none?

        February 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
      • Taylor C.

        I would agree with you on that point. Over population has become a very large problem for the world. The more people there are, the more CO2 we pump into the already delicate O-Zone putting ourselves and our future generations at risk.
        BUT, in some places around the world, the more people in the family, the more people there are to bring in money - in turn everything on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs bottom step, if you will - and support the family. For example, this was a large issue back in the Industrial Age all over the world. When textile mills and other production factories were new and "popular", despite their notorious dangers, were packed with whole families working to make a hard living. This is when people figured that, the more children they had to work in the factories, the more money they would have ect.
        SO my point is, I agree with you on the point that over population is a HEEEUUUGGGGEEEE problem. It is one that needs to be solved, whether we like it or not. I can tell you that in the not-so-near future, I would love to have kids (NOT AS A 16 YEAR-OLD GIRL!!!) but I, along with others, have to realize that LIMITING myself to maybe one or two kids is the best thing for the planet and for my children's futures. ( I know how terrible that sounds, but most choices from this point do.)

        March 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  12. Mike in NYC

    Whatever you do don't eat the Soylent Green ...... its people!!!!!!!! 😉

    February 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • RS

      Thanks for ruining the movie for me. Go jump off a bridge.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • burnforce

        In Sixth Sense Bruce Willis is actually dead. Kevin Spacey isn't handicapped at all in Usual Suspects. And It's the head of Brad Pitt's wife in the box at the end of the movie Seven. That's 3 more for you! 🙂

        August 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  13. dr André Kruger

    We vegetarians are quite selfish: We don't want animals to eat our food before we do – by eating their bodies. Even if you grow them in a lab, they still contain actin, myosin and collagen.. which means your body is instructed to break down these proteins. What follows in degenerative disease as your body break down its own muscles and connective tissues, having been "trained" on dead animals. Even if their amino acid sequences comes from a lab, they will still code our enzymes and antibodies.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Joseph

      I'm going to freely admit that I didn't know any of that stuff, and wish to learn more about it. Thank you for your comment.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  14. AlwaysWithCheese

    This whole concept could render (pun int.) voting obsolete.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  15. BC68

    " It may be possible to grow meat in a petri dish." Made my stomach turn just reading that.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  16. Leucadia Bob


    February 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Taylor C.

      Very catchy song.

      March 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  17. smartaz

    Can I supersize that?

    February 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  18. I know what I'm talking about

    So the question said on the video, "Will people eat beef from a pitri dish?" A: When people are hungry, they will not bother to ask where the meat comes from. If it looks good, smells good, they will eat it. Here are the factors that prevents consumers knowing too much. There's the FDA and food and label administration. The FDA will only allow the okay if scientists are willing to put in the extensive safety research studies, which it probably will. Then the label will only give the calorie counts, lipids, sugars, minerals, and name of the compounds for certain people with allergies. More can be said but majority of consumers will not ask. you guys ever ask mcdonald why their meat's texture the way it is? compare to mcdonald, i see the meat in pitri dish has a higher standard and quality.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • ann-marie

      extensive safety research studies ......Wow really?......the FDA never did that when they approved GMO's for our consumption. Now genetically engineered foods are everywhere and more and more people are getting food related illness and allergies. Farmers are having trouble getting their pigs to reproduces because of the genetically modified feed they fed them. 90% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified and contains the BT toxin that can stay in our guts and kill the good bacteria.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  19. Stan Smith


    February 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  20. Bob

    Make me some Kobe steaks.
    Don't they have a method of excellerated growth they use also?

    February 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  21. Roy

    To me the piece of meat looks rather disgusting right now, however not the idea and I hope not the actual finished product because I happen to be one of those meat eaters. So here's to you Dr. Mark Post and I also feel stem cell research should be continued as a possible way to grow new limbs and organs and cures for those in need of them, since the body does not reject it's own tissues or organs grown from it's own tissues. And I did see that old show Soylent Green with Charlton Heston, Edward G Robinson and Chuck Connors.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  22. Rufoscoe

    Lunacy. Eating this kind of food is killing us. It takes a huge amount of energy (from any source – cloning or corn) to produce 1 lb of steak. The food itself is bad for us in the amounts we eat it, and it's bad economically and environmentally. I'm not a vegetarian, but we could cut the amount of red meat we eat in the US by 90% and not be any worse off. We'd actually be better off – physically, environmentally and economically.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Jeff S

      Don't assume advancements won't change that. Future sources of energy, coupled with nano/pico-tech assembly means we could eventually cause the same polution as a single smoked cigarette, at a cost 1/100th current prices, while producing enough red meat to satisfy a million-strong horde of barbarians for a month.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  23. Hence21

    I like how they suggest that people would not eat meat grown this way... Yet they will eat a big mac without any problem.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  24. Hence21

    This will be great for the space industry. Imagine growing beef burgers on Newt's moon base!

    February 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jenn

      Hahaha! That's fantastic!

      February 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  25. Matt

    Sure, we could double meat production with cloned meat to feed the growing population...or we could try to halve the population. Since the prophylactic seems too difficult for so many to use, maybe we quit subsidizing vaccines and see what happens?

    February 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Hence21

      Great idea, until it is you or your kids that need the help. If you are really serious about reducing the population, then jump off a bridge, there's one...

      February 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Darryl

      Matt, you have the answer. Population reduction. But it won't happen. There are no forces to control polulation, only forces to increase it. Nature drives us to reproduce, religions want more warriors, business wants more cheap, desperate labor and more consumers. So, my guess is that we will keep reproducing like cancer and prove that our "intelligence" was more imagined than real.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Buk Lau

      To be brutally honest, one of the most effective ways of reducing the population in the long run would be to give Planned Parenthood all the funding it needs. Not only for abortions, but also providing free contraception and birth control. Heck, PP was designed as a eugenics program to cull the poor/minorities from the population by reducing their birthrate.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  26. RichWW2

    Cowless meat was grown on an episode of 'Better Off Ted'. I miss that show. It was hilarious.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • kake79

      *ROFLMAO* That was my first thought! That show was f-n hysterical. I am so bummed it didn't stay on longer... and that they haven't released the second season in DVD.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  27. Extremophil

    Does that price include extra cheese?

    February 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  28. Kyne

    For true ethical vegetarians, even one killed cow is one too many.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Carnivore

      Slow smoked Kansas City BBQ ribs. mmmmmmmm Mouth Watering!

      February 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
      • Kyne

        I agree! Just saying that the first paragraph may be moot.

        February 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Abby

      "True, ethical vegetarians" have no idea what really goes on in farming, whether it be raising livestock or crops. You think no animals died for your tofu burger? Think again. Naive vegetarians tend to think in terms of "crops = save the animals, livestock = kill the animals", which is a very elementary way of looking at things. You'd be surprised at the number of animals that die for crops to be raised; and likewise you'd also be surprised at how raising crops and livestock can work together and you can actually get MORE food per acre by rotating livestock onto crop stubble for part of the year.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  29. steph

    this is sad! they can spend $330,000 growing a burger but in the u.s. stem cell research is illegal. my daughter is 6 yr. old diabetic and the only true cure is growing new cells for her through stem cell growth. she gets 5 to 6 shots a day, she is very limited on what she can eat and can ONLY eat at certain times during the day. i'm so dissapointed in my country and its leaders!! so i ask mr. obama, why can't we do this for our children? you know its the right thing to do!

    February 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Bob Dobalina

      I usually joke around as I have been doing here but I do agree that it shouldn't be illegal....if it's research that's going to save and/or improve the lives of people...then it should be allowed....

      February 21, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • Phearis

        Science will cure diseases? Blasphemy! Tell that to the Christians.... who think that the invisible wish granting zombie in the sky will cure them.

        February 21, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • john

      sorry for your burden. i hope things get better for your daughter. i agree that stem cell research should be legal, there are so many possibilities.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Mick

      There is no federal law making stem cell research illegal. In some states it's perfectly legal, with some – like California – providing funding.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Terry in Florida

      I don't agree it being all religious stagnation that stops stem cell research. I think there's a lot to do with pharmacy industry and the money to be made there that prevent such research. The old adage in congress 100 years ago was that if there's no other way to stop something bring God into the picture. My how little things have changed.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Buk Lau

      Big Pharma likes keeping patients, like your daughter, a captive audience. They don't develop cures; they develop treatments for symptoms.

      Also, being Christian myself, I don't think people shouldn't blame religious people for backwards laws we have. We should blame the lawmakers who listen to religious fools, because they are the ones trampling our rights for votes. Why can't we do stem cell research, have abortions, let gays marry, or buy wine on Sunday? Because politicians pander to religious voters on stupid social issues rather than doing their jobs.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • NB

      Stem cell research is not illegal in the US. The policy enacted by Bush to limit federal funding for stem cell research was reversed by Obama a couple of years ago.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • ann-marie

      Have you read about how raw foods and green juicing can cure diabetes? Please research this for your daughter. Food is Medicine.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Proj

      Stem cell research isn't illegal anywhere than I'm aware of, you're thinking of embryonic stem cell research. I agree with the essence of what you're saying (it is silly that embryonic stem cell research is heavily regulated, not illegal though, per se), however this isn't even relevant to the topic: embryonic stem cell research isn't being conducted here, just stem cell research (i.e. stem cells can be obtained from sources such as bone, etc.).

      February 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  30. EmmyStar

    So birth control is wrong but this is okay?

    February 21, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Bob Dobalina

      Take a pill, eat a burger....have a beer. Life is good.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Matt

      I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that birth control isn't controversial in the Netherlands.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Jon

      What does this have to do with birth control? I think you may have commented on the wrong article 🙂

      February 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  31. Bob Dobalina

    I'll take one...hold the Mayo and does that come with Placenta Fries???

    February 21, 2012 at 6:19 am |
  32. 4commonsensenow

    Thats just wrong. Ever just considering just changing your diet and reduce your meat intake. To me this is just a further step away from reality of responsible agriculture mangement and health.

    February 21, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • JasonX

      At least he's doing something. I don't think philosophy is going to alter the behavior of 8 billion people on this planet... and if it leads to solving the problem and eliminating animal suffering all the more better. Do or do nothing. I choose do.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • WJK

      You made you the moral compass of all of us? I don't remember voting against you. New ideas are just that, get used to them and quit judging everything. We need to learn to engineer better people and food with stem cells.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • WJK


      February 21, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Dry

      If you live in a suburb anywhere in the USA, this research is not intended to help you. It is intended to help the hundreds of millions of people around the world who don't have a thing to eat. Not meat, not vegetables, not anything. Think of countries outside of this one, for a change. Google Earth can help you visualize if you don't know what's in the other 6 continents.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  33. Manuel Adame III

    There might be entrepreneurs and companies around the world who would want to invest and benefit from this idea. For instance a city like Dubai where people invision anything to be possible and become a reality. Don't doubt that this scientific breakthrough will one day be used very commonly there.

    February 21, 2012 at 6:11 am |
  34. Laura Bradley

    Very good news! Soon hunger may be a thing of the past. Meat from stem cells! It will be like that old Charlton Heston movie with versions in Green, Red, and Yellow.

    February 21, 2012 at 6:03 am |
  35. R

    I had this idea many years ago.Surprised its taken scientists so long to think of it.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:15 am |
  36. John

    Sounds like a good idea – we currently have about 7-8 billion people on the planet with birth rates declining in several poor countries. The projection say our biosphere can support about 10 billion with the 33% eating meat and about 14 billion with 100% vegetarian and somewhere between 18-20 billion with a mix of vegetarian and protein insects (ants and termites).

    Meat without animals could help out a lot between the 10 billion and 14 billion range which will probably be in about 20 years, assuming they need a lot less water and energy (oil) to manufacture.

    But what always wonder is what happens when you hit max population. All capitalist societies have required population growth, gradual inflation and economic growth to prosper. At some point we'll need a new economic model or need to figure out a way to make even more food.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • JasonX

      Interesting points. I suspect that human ignorance will ultimately lead to one scenario: starvation and death probably brought about by extreme events (weather, war, disease, cosmic or tectonic events). At which point population will correct iself forcibly. The obviously better approach is to inteligently choose to have no more than 2 (and preferbly 1) child. But that assumes education and even cultural changes that some demographic groups are sadly resistant too.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  37. amaathya

    Unlimited ocean, why not grow fish , I mean amazing are the ways of people! amazing!

    February 21, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – the oceans are far from unlimited, and are widely suffering from massive overfishing already, with several major species nearing or already threatened with extinction.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:46 am |
      • Jess

        You totally misread what this person said. They meant that the ocean is unlimited in space not wildlife. Therefore there is a lot of room to release cloned fish.

        I personally think cloning animals seems more appetizing than just producing slabs of meat and it would be more efficient. Since there's more space in the sea than on land cloning fish might not be a bad idea.

        February 21, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Vienna

      What world do you live in? Unlimited? Educate yourself before you post nonsense!

      February 21, 2012 at 5:16 am |
  38. Jimmy

    The people who say they wouldn't eat it have absolutely no idea about the pink sludge they are currently eating when they purchase beef products from fast food restaurants. That's right folks; they treat the beef parts no one wants with ammonia, wash it, then grind it down into the pink sludge that goes into your burrito. I'd take lab grown meat over that any day!

    February 21, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • thatguythere

      the quality of this meat should surpass the low grade ground beef you currently get in fast food, at least, eventually. By quality, I am referring to the byproducts and additives and organs that would be added to the mix. Imagine if it were possible to actually grow the meat right in the restaurant. Long way off, and most likely not practical, but an interesting idea.

      Didn't PETA offer up a million dollar prize for the first person to successfully grow meat in a lab?

      February 21, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • HunterChick

      Not all people who eat meat eat fast food. I personally think fast food is nasty and you always feel sick after eating it. That being said I do enjoy eating meat but only meat that my family or myself hunt or fish. If you buy chicken or meat from the store and try it and then compare it to elk/deer/duck meat you will feel and taste a HUGE difference. Not to mention when we take an animals life at least I know it had a decent one, compared to how people treat livestock.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  39. SixDegrees

    They did this on the show "Better Off Ted". The protagonists response upon tasting it: "It tastes like pure despair."

    February 21, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  40. megin

    Sure, so long as vegan's eat GMO veggies. Or can vegetarians agree, that just like they don't want GMO, we meat eaters want organic wholesome food that isn't processed in a pastry dish.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • megin

      Petri not pastry dish.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  41. DAVID

    i am guessing rat meat is next on the menu. oh never mind it is already there so why not some home grown to.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:19 am |
  42. house

    can't wait to eat fish with three eyes...yummy

    February 21, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • houseofvespucci

      Warren Johnson's "Muddling Towards Frugality" prophecy.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:01 am |
      • Guest

        I thought it was a Simpsons episode

        February 21, 2012 at 4:13 am |
  43. jdoe

    If the technology becomes such that protein food can be manufactured more cheaply and cleanly, with less impact on the environment, why not? Most Americans like to eat meat, but don't want their meal to look anything like the animal it came from anyway. Think about all the antibiotics and hormones and yes, antacids, pumped into cows to make them marketable.

    It may be expensive and not economically feasible now, but sooner or later it will be commonplace. And people will accept it like most already have with genetically modified crops. If they don't, their kids will.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Andres

      Posted on Your are not worthless. You mean the world to snmooee. You just need to find out who. And don't ever try to take your life ever you are loved by more people than you think.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  44. svann

    People say they wouldnt eat it but wait till they taste designer steaks. It will be better than the best you can butcher from real animals.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  45. brickness

    In the end it comes down to feeding people. If the protein, fat mixture of the stem cell burgers is cheap to produce, and provides good nutrition, it makes no sense not to utilize it. A rather insane number of people are starving in this world right now.

    Additionally, this may be a way to finally produce toxin free meat. One of the biggest problems with meat currently is the high levels of toxic environmentally acquired like PCB's, DDT etc. that still persist in the environment today. A quick survey of FDA estimates of toxins in modern meats is pretty astounding. On top of the higher cancer rates, these things universally cause intellectual impairment, and obesity.

    I'd rather not be fat, stupid and doomed to a painful death...

    February 21, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • clever

      Burgers make you stupid?

      Did you just eat one?

      Im sorry, I'm being a dumbazz...
      Mostly cuz I just ate one too!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • clever

      Thats why restaurants sterilize their meat with salt!

      you know, because salt is good for ya as well!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • SixDegrees

      People aren't starving, though, from a shortage of food. They're starving because the food can't get to them, for a variety of reasons ranging from infrastructure to politics. But we are more than capable of producing enough food to feed everyone without resorting to Bachelor Chow.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:44 am |
  46. svann

    Soylent Green is made of people!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • BS

      Soylent green is a super old morality movie, with Charlton Heston (some believe he is god, including himself; may he R.I.P.)
      If youre not 200 yrs old, you may not have seen it.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:08 am |
      • Bob Dobalina

        "You tell everybody. Listen to me, Hatcher. You've gotta tell them! Soylent Green is people! We've gotta stop them somehow! "......Classic...mmmm Soylent Green..droollllll

        February 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  47. caeser

    MMMMmmm....Testube T-Bone yummy,yummy.
    Maybe on Mars.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  48. Raymond Collins

    Gotta feed the world. Those of you talking about being a vegetarian first should look at some of the science going into your corn and other veggies and not even in the name of feeding the hungry but for profits and patends.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  49. TheTeacher

    I always assumed that's how white castle burgers are made. And NYC street hot dogs. It's not like there's any meat n them...Pretty yummy though.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  50. lmao!

    I dont know what this lump in my neck is, or why my eye keeps twitching, but dam them burgers are tasty!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  51. lmao!

    Or we can do like they do in some parts of Africa, where they catch gnats and ball them into patties, then cook them up like burgers!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:10 am |
  52. Gohe

    I'm going to guess it's going to taste like normal beef. just a guess...

    February 21, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Probably not. Meat gets a lot of its distinctive flavor from exercise. Pork shoulder is a lot more flavorful than pork tenderloin, for example, and the same is true for beef tenderloin versus, say, brisket. Fat, too, plays a large role. This is a lump of muscle tissue sitting quiescently in a dish without ever moving. I suppose they could zap it with electrodes every now and then, but overall I'd guess it'll be rather bland.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  53. Edward

    As if people really care about animals. I'm vegan but people saying, "this will help save animals" couldn't care less about animals to begin with. I would never eat scientifically grown meat but then again I would never eat meat so this doesn't effect me. Those thinking that Peta or vegans would support this are wrong, they use animal stem cells to grow the meat, which means that animals are still being effected which means that the meat is not vegan. If I were a meat eater I still wouldn't eat it. This is what capitalism has led to ...

    February 21, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Dave McGuire

      Wow, vegans must really hate animals! Meat-eaters always have to carry the heavy stuff when their vegan friends move.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • cnn

      Yeah, every year after eating way too much on thanksgiving... I eat so much turkey, that I promise to join an "I hate turkey club!

      Which is a little discerning, because I love a "turkey club"

      February 21, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Lila

      you may want to research it, I think it's PETA approved.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • mmi16

      Meat grown in the same manner as veggies – don't the Vegitarian know they are condeming living cells to death by eat them too?

      February 21, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  54. Deedie

    Would you like a fried Apple Pie with your order?

    February 21, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  55. Matt

    Im interested to know who funded this... cough mcdonalds cough

    February 21, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  56. lmao!

    maybe we could name it the "new" hamburger helper!

    February 21, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  57. chef

    Stems cells, and Candida!
    Add some pus and bacteria.
    And you've grown a burger, a bun, and a glass of milk!

    February 21, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • chef

      Let it ferment a little longer, and you'll even get cheese!
      Gives a whole new meaning to a home grown meal, eh?

      February 21, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  58. jdoe

    Years from now people will see this as completely normal, and think of how primitive people used to be, raising animals and then slaughtering them for meat.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • zander

      i doubt this will ever be a main stream solution as people will never be okay with eating grown meat, still there is always going to be a hurdle to cross in terms of the next solution to feeding the masses. the most likely candidate will be insects as it is already a widely accepted form of food across the world and is much healthier than beef. it is also something easily mass produced for hardly any cost.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:32 am |
      • jdoe

        Some people will never be OK with lab-grown meat, but their kids who grow up with it will have no problem. It will be a generational thing.

        February 21, 2012 at 1:47 am |
  59. chef

    Mmm! Delicious! Grow the burger from stem cells, throw in a yeast infection. And you've grown the burger, and the bun!

    February 21, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  60. ron

    The freaks at PETA will have a stroke. I can see the new ads now. Free the petri dish! Stem cells have rights, too. It's soylent green!

    February 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Lila

      I'm not sure but I think this the project they support and gave money to.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  61. Darren

    This made me laugh...

    "Right now the process doesn't involve harming animals – researchers are using leftover materials from slaughterhouses."

    February 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  62. southernboy

    Ahh! Throw a little bacon on it! Everything taste better with bacon!

    February 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  63. passerby

    What have I forgot to plant in my garden.... There's tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, peppers... Oh crap! I forgot to plant the meat!

    Then how did your wife get pregnant?

    February 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Sara

      Whatever you have written is too deep for me to grasp ainhtnyg I can say-Nice research You should send this hypothysis to some religious -knowledable ppl Let them evaluate-I m not qualified to say any thing.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:53 am |
  64. Marine5484

    Looks like some people with money have been watching the show Eureka a little too much.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  65. tobor

    lets see, what am I forgetting to grow in my garden? There's spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers.... Ahh! Thats right, I forgot to plant the meat!

    then how did your wife get pregnant?

    February 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • passerby

      Sorry for the double post! It wasn't "2" funny!

      February 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  66. SantaClaws

    Awesome. Instead of spending $300k to feed people, we wasted it to make a tiny burger that will never be marketable.

    I'm not sure what's the greater crime. The suffering of bovines or squandering money that could have fed people.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • johnborg

      I understand your concern, but there is a connection between human and animal suffering. Cows eat a lot and therefore use up a lot of space indirectly. Without cows people would have more land, especially the poor – its an ecological and humanitarian victory. But, alas, $330,000! Maybe we should just go vegetarian, or at least cut back on our meat consumption.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • tokencode

      They're spending $330k to figure out how to produce food more effectively which will have a much larger effect on junger than simply handing out $330k worth of food......

      February 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • medical student

      they're spending $330,000 to find a way to feed people forever without harming anymore animals

      i mean are you really that dense or are you just trolling

      February 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • SB

      You must be trolling. No one could possibly be that dense. Right? I hope.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  67. tobor

    Well all have battery packs, and no mouths but the time that will be available!

    February 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  68. Denese

    I read the other day that some breads contain something called L-cysteine, which is liquified human hair – from China.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Sonoro

      That is correct. It is also used in food flavoring. That's why I bake my own breads or buy them from Whole Foods (a little more expensive but worth it). I also prepare most thing from scratch whenever possible. And don't eat at fast food places. Disgusting.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Bill

      Learn some basic science. Cysteine is a common amino acid, one of 20 amino acid building blocks for proteins of all kinds, including hair. Although cysteine is found in hair ( provides disulfide bonds that impart curl) it is one of many other amino acid building blocks. Liquified hair, where do people read this nonsense

      February 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • medical student

      L-cysteine is just an amino acid...

      also baking your own bread to avoid a natural amino acid? Really? It's simply a lack of education that breeds that sort of ignorance

      February 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • VoiceFrmLeft

      I read somewhere... that makes it true, right? Grow a little common sense... it's a common amino derived from many sources, the least of which I'm sure is human hair.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • lmao!

      Stem cells can repair brain injury!

      Doctor I'll have the medulla oblongata. And a stem cell burger, and on a sesame Candida!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • sharoom

      Wow are you really bashing on a natural amino acid?

      February 21, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  69. alex

    its funny when people say there's too many people on earth. if you think that, take the lead and kill yourself so that the world has more space. since youre so concerned...

    February 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • christianbrother

      i think people say that because they are concerned about the future, not because they think people should start being killed or killing themselves. it is true that hundreds of millions of people will go through life without access to clean water, education or opportunity to accomplish their potential in life due to lack of resources and i imagine if one were to extrapolate this trend out 100 hundred years from now things could seem very dire.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
      • zander

        these problems are in no way due to a lack of resources, but instead a lack of resource management. farmers are forced to throw away up to 40% of their crops due to consumer preference as well as water being constantly wasted by everyone everday. there is in no way a shortage of resources to support a population even double our current size, the simple fact is we need a better system of recycling and management.

        February 21, 2012 at 1:37 am |
      • Jess

        I think you all have valid points, but I also believe that mother nature has a way of cutting down populations in order to restore balance. Otherwise I'm sure we'll all start killing each other if we're too cramped with limited access to resources.

        February 21, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • HarshReality

      It is a dumb movie, but it is based in a VERY POSSIBLE and scarry set of occurances.

      The movie is "Idocracy". If you've seen it, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. Humans are capable of this, and worse. It's the timeline events they speak of, however, that make my hair stand on end. I can see it actualy happening.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  70. Lila

    I would rather be a vegetarian than eat something like that, but then again, eventually only the super wealthy will be able to eat buy real meat like everyone does today.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • HarshReality

      If you can buy meat, you are already in the top 20% of the worlds "wealthy". But I agree, soon only the top 10%, then. . .

      February 21, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Roy

      Look in the face of reality, it may reach the stage when only the wealthy and super wealthy can afford to buy and eat the vegetables then what ya gonna eat huh. Squares of Soylent green, reds and yellows.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  71. alex

    this came out in science journal a year ago. cnn you are once again a day late and a dollar short

    February 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Hugo

      That Dr. Post spoke at a meeting last Sunday was published a year ago? Well that is impressive...

      February 21, 2012 at 1:34 am |
      • Claudio

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        April 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • TW

      Soooo, CNN only had $299,999?
      364 days ago?
      is that your point?

      February 21, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  72. DougieT

    It looks like something the cat barfed up.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  73. DougieT

    Where's the beef?

    February 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  74. loverspoint

    I forgot that the Republicans and religious far right are opposed to stem cell research, do you think they will change their mind when they are starving because of their own recklessness in the refusal to use contraception.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Well, no. They're against embryonic stem cell research, and even in that case are only opposed to the creation of new cell lines, raising no opposition to the use of those already in existence. Just sayin'.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:55 am |
  75. loverspoint

    Here's a novel idea for mankind- Lower your populations. Wars are going to be fought soon, not for oil, but for water, and arable land to meet their growing population demands- to bad religion hates contraception- it would make the world a much better place.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Dr. Knowitall

      All I can say lover is "Soylent Green", and may you be the first in the pot!

      February 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
      • loverspoint

        In the future when you say you are eating chinese food you truly will be eating chinese.

        February 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Amy

      So I guess you're chaste? Because we all know accidents happen. And of course you would never contribute to overpopulation, so that means you can't EVER risk that, right?

      February 21, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  76. Todd in DC

    I'll stick with grass fed, cruelty free bison.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  77. Guy

    This is a great idea. Probably be better for you than the stuff we eat now, better for the environment, and there would be more land to grown vegetables on and we wouldn't have to feed those vegetables to animals, so we could feed them to people.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • loverspoint

      To bad US farmland is being bought up at record amounts by foreign countries, these foreign companies then receive subsidies from the US government and then push up food price to US citizens so that the price can be made cheaper abroad.

      February 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  78. smknbluebear

    im sure mcdonalds is right on it...anything to avoid putting actual food in food...

    February 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • informedunionvoter

      i can has stem cell cheezburgr?

      February 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  79. derp

    I used to joke about doing this when I was a grad student working in cell culture... given the uphill battle to get genetically modified crops accepted by the masses, good luck getting people to eat a stem cell patty – even I think it sounds gross.

    February 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • medical student

      it's an uphill battle but I think it has more to do with the older generations and baby boomers which are statistically less likely to have achieved higher education or a significant understanding of genetics and biology. To the generation Y this stuff is frightening because they didn't grow up learning about it, they think genetics is some sort of evil science and they're simply afraid of what they don't understand.

      Today's younger generation is far more familiar with the biological sciences, and genetics is integrated into most biology classrooms in some form. Understanding what genes are, what DNA, RNA, totipotent stem cells, ribosomes, etc are, and how they are the tools used to create proteins, takes the whole scary misconception of genetics research right out of the picture.

      Genetically modified foods aren't something to be fighting, they aren't dangerous. The greatest hypocrisy is when the environmentalists fight it because it's the single most promising technology for sustainability. Instead of growing hundreds of small tomatoes for instance, which takes up lots of land, and is susceptible to bacteria, parasites, and pests which requires pesticide and antibiotic contamination, we can grow a handful of giant sized tomatoes modified to be resistant to those bacteria or parasitic contaminants AND they will be more efficient.

      If we can create meat that is identical to the meat of a living cow, using simply the same totipotent stem cells that cow would use to grow it's own muscle cells, then we can create 100% cruelty free meat that doesn't require large land masses, doesn't require slaughtering cows, and doesn't require antibiotics or preservatives, and is healthier than real meat by containing less cholesterol, fat and sodium

      February 21, 2012 at 12:15 am |
      • IgnoranceIsNotBliss

        Not everyone is uninformed nor ignorant as you so proclaim them to be. Who says that genetically modified foods are sustainable? Are these the same people who took on mass food production in the 60's..inserting synthetic growth hormones into our meat, and adding food additives and chemicals to our food supply, household goods and dooming most of the American population to heart disease, cancer, and obesity?

        Probably the very reason why you are a "medical student" which by my guess you are studying traditional American medicine..eventually becoming Dr. So and So.. Which these days basically consists of writing your patients drugs. Drugs which have side effects of hm lets see dry mouth, depression, your left arm falling off.. And maybe you Initially have great intentions but soon you will so by pharma reps who will subsequently make you salivate at the prospect of bringing thousands of dollars of extra dollars in a year.

        Yuck, I'm so disappointed with society and medical society. Remember when you take your Hippocratic Oath: hipprocates who was supposedly the father of all medicine said: "Let thy food be thy medicine" Food, good natural, free of genetically modified food!

        Yours Truly,

        An educated, conscious aware 20 something

        February 21, 2012 at 1:11 am |
      • engineer long time

        You may be correct about the statistics on us baby boomers, but I would like to mention that people that could not keep up with me and many more like me academically, went into your field. I did better in advanced biology and chemistry than 2 physicians and 1 nurse that I am acquainted with. I know they forgot to tell you about what happens when you genetically engineer anything. ..... The medical profession will probably kill off enough people in the not too distant future due to bad practices, and bad drugs, to solve the food problem..

        February 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • WJK

      I volunteer to eat one.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • WJK

        It tastes like chicken!

        February 21, 2012 at 11:06 am |

    nice discovery.

    February 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  81. frank

    Everyone say Hi to Soylent Green!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  82. ray

    Yeap, that looks like the future alright.. And about sticking to the "real thing";; guess what? Too late,, have u seen food inc? I'm not too religious but now I think only God knows what we're feeding off of already

    February 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

    good try BUT IM NOT BUYING

    February 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  84. JMissal

    No thanks....I'll stick to the real thing.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  85. I'm The Best!

    I'd say this is really cool and interesting, but my mind has already gone to zombie apocalypse. Once someone eats this and doesn't start craving brains I'll be more inclined to be excited about it.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Graham Krueger

      What do you call mad cow disease if not your zombie apocalypse?:p If we can grow the bloody stuff in a dish it'l use less land, be much cleaner and safer, eliminate cruelty to animals, and, most importantly, use much less water. Omnivore's dilemma may be solved in a few years! This is pretty exciting to me

      February 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm |


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