It’s food Jim but not as we know it…
A tale of a mad European doctor, a mysterious benefactor and Heston Blumenthal might have you expecting a thrilling horror story involving ridiculous food, and you might be right.
Dr Mark Post, head of physiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, has been given the chance to create a new Frankenfood which could be the future of fast food mealtimes. His plan is to take a sample of cow stem cells, mix them with some horse foetus serum and, in true mad scientist style, use the power of electricity to stimulate growth. The result: beefburgers.
Funded by an anonymous wealthy person, the plan is aiming to reduce the amount of cattle required to satisfy the worlds expanding waistlines.
“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…”
So far he has successfully grown some small 3cm long beef strips (nuggets or dippers?).
Once the experimentation creates a fully formed burger, Post will hand it over to celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal who will serve it up to an as yet unknown celebrity who will be chosen by the mysterious investor behind it all.
At this stage Post admits that the made-up meat will need some extra flavouring and something will have to be done about its pinkish yellow colour. He hopes to do something about the price too. 3,000 muscles would be required for one burger costing £200,000. A big mark-up for a Happy Meal.
There are a fair few benefits to the scheme though. Fewer livestock means better quality living for them. Meat which does not cost lives may have vegetarians begin eating it. The technology will also provide the possibility of tasting meat from more exotic animals.
My main concern is that once the meat is given to Heston, he’ll do something stupid like grind it into an ice cream and serve it on coral.
By Lewis Roe