Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University
In the old Popeye cartoons, Wimpy promised to repay Tuesday for a hamburger today. A lot of days would have to pass before he could afford what they're cooking up in Holland.
"I just got funded by a philanthropic organization to basically make a hamburger, the first hamburger we are going to make is going to cost likely 250-thousand Euro and it's likely to be the most expensive hamburger we're going to see on this planet".Dr. Mark Post, Maastricht University
Not only is that burger expensive, more then $330, 000 CAD, it's never seen a farm and isn't especially fresh. Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University made the meat in a laboratory petri dish. He's expected to grill the in-vitro burger later this month at an event in London. And while it's just one small patty -- five ounces to be exact -- Post believes this is a lot more than just sizzle.
"It will completely change the way we produce meat. Of course we will still have farms as well, because we need small donor herds to provide stem cells, so there will be a low-level livestock breeding and keeping anyway".Somebody famous
"It will completely change the way we produce meat. Of course we will still have farms as well, because we need small donor herds to provide stem cells, so there will be a low-level livestock breeding and keeping anyway." - Dr. Mark Post, Maastricht University
A vision of factories pumping out lab-engineered meat is a little unsettling. And no one is really sure how the sheet-meat -- or shmeat -- will actually taste.
New Harvest, Isha Datar
Isha Datar is the executive director of New Harvest. It is a non-profit organization that supports the advancement of alternatives to conventionally produced meat. Isha Datar is also a cell biologist, and a meat eater. She was in our Toronto studio.
Professor at Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Neil Stephens
In 2008, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- announced a million dollar reward for the first lab to produce a commercially viable in vitro meat -- from chicken cells.
The first deadline came and went without a winner. So, the offer was extended to the end of June of this year. That's not looking likely either. As a result, PETA has just announced that scientists have until the end of 2013 to claim the prize.
Even with PETA on board, there are still a number of issues surrounding Shmeat - not the least of which are how produce it cheaply and how to make the idea appetizing.
Our next guest is a social scientist who's closely followed the quest for cultured meat. Neil Stephens is a social scientist at Cardiff University in Wales. In the course of his own research into the ethical and cultural issues around in vitro meat, he's interviewed all of the key scientific players in the field. He joined us from Cardiff, Wales.
This segment was produced by The Current's Dawna Dingwall.
Last Word - Chef Michael Noble on Shmeat
Shmeat may some day be the answer to many of the world's problems. But in at least one Alberta restaurant, it's the answer to a question no one is asking. Michael Noble is head chef and owner of Calgary's Notable restaurant. The business specializes in gourmet burgers and aged Alberta beef.
It's fair to say he's no fan of 'synthetic sirloin' or 'petri patties'. Chef Noble gets today's Last Word.
Other segments from today's show: