Since 2008 Dutch scientist Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht, has been working on growing edible meat in a laboratory. At 5 august, 2013 the first in-vitro hamburger has been served during a launch event in London. Could this be the solution to all the future food problems?
Mark Post is working to show how meat grown in petri dishes might one day be a true alternative to meat from livestock. That is also the reason why scientists have been working on developing processes for growing meat. They see growing meat as an answer to feeding a rapidly growing population and unsustainable farming techniques. More people need to be involved in the discussion on what we will eat in the future. That is why the concept of Dutch artist and philosopher Koert Mensvoort is so amazing. Koert Mensvoort has launched a virtual restaurant featuring a menu of conceptual dishes that could be made possible by lab-grown meat. The aim of the project is to encourage a wider audience to engage with possibilities created by growing meat from cells in a controlled environment using tissue-engineering technologies.
Food for thought
Food for thought are the virtual dinners which Bistro in Vitro offers on their website. Diners can create their own three course meal from a range of dishes that could one day be created by using in vitro meat. Koert Mensvoort also integrated the conceptual in vitro cookbook. The In Vitro Meat Cookbook presents 45 recipes that explore and visualize what in vitro meat products might be on our plate one day. As in vitro meat is still being developed you cannot cook our recipes just yet, however, they will provide abundant food for thought and discussion. – www.mensvoort.com
“My personal favourite is called A Pig From The Backyard and the idea is that you have a little pig in the backyard or on the farm, and you take some cells from it and you grow a local sausage from it,” Mensvoort told Dezeen. “You can feed the sausage to your child and then the next day you can go out and the pig is still there, alive and well, and you can cuddle it. It is not too spectacular but it will change our consumptive relationship with animals,” he explained.
It is a fact that if we stay living and eating like we do now, we do not have enough food and meat for all the 9 billion people in the world in 2050. Personally I think in vitro meat will be a solution for all the meat lovers among us. In less then 10 years there will be the first in vitro restaurants. Maybe not in the Netherlands but certainly in London. When I tried to tell my mom about this new kind of meat I scared the hell out of her but personally I am very curious about the new growing meat! Science will bring us a lot in the future.
Quality Of Life
Maybe some do not want to believe me, but I really think that the in vitro meat will improve our quality of life. Like what Koert Mensvoort told about the pig from the backyard, this is a way of finally knowing exactly how our meat has or IS living. Right now we know so little about the animals that are involved in our meat production. It would be great if we could eat meat from an animal that is still alive and having a good life. It is the question if it also will improve our health, but probably it will because it is a fat less muscle, grown from the stem cells of an animal.