A $300,000 burger to conserve ecology!

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London, Aug 6: If the value  killed your appetite, let us tell you why and how a burger can help save environmental balance. Probably, that would encourage you to try it out, at least once. Mark Post and his team in Maastricht University in the Netherlands have developed burgers made of cow muscle cell in a lab, hoping that it would suffice the future needs of a growing carnivorous population. This would also help fight the climate change, they believe.

While the latter is a distant thought, what bothers PETA experts most is the rampant killing of domestic animals to be served at the dinner table. Moreover, the Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that the global meat consumption will double as more people in developing countries can afford buying meat by the year 2050.

This means there would be a global shortage of supply as compared to the demand.

After five years of hard work and research, Monday's taste test was taken with great expectations as this could be a possible solution for the above-mentioned problems. However, its the taste that matters at the end of the day. The consumers would seek a value for money if they are trying it out and that would decide whether the environment can ultimately be conserved.

Some felt that it was short of flavour, while others felt it lacked fat. "I would say it's close to meat. I miss the salt and pepper," said Austrian nutritionist Hanni Ruetzler.

U.S. journalist Josh Schonwald said, "The absence is the fat, it has leanness to it, but the bite feels like a conventional hamburger."

How they made it

The muscle cells of two organic cows were extracted and were put into a nutrient solution. THese then developed into muscle tissure, growing into smallstrands of meat. It took approximately 20,000 strands to form a 5-ounce patty. The patties were then seasoned with salt, breadcrumbs, red beet juice and saffron for the Monday's test.

The scientists have high hopes for the technology. "The taste can be tweaked. We're trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger. From there I'm optimistic we can really scale by leaps and bounds," said Post, who thinks this is a very good start and a small potential step to conserve the environment.

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