Food critics Monday sat down to taste the world’s first lab-grown burger made entirely from the stem cells of a cow. Researchers concocted the burger substitute while working to find a sustainable and alternative way to meet the ever-growing demand for beef. According to the team, the product is also environmentally friendly.

So how does it taste?

“This is meat to me,” said taster Hanni Ruetzler, a food researcher from the Future Food Studio “It’s really something to bite on and I think the look is quite similar.”

Food author Josh Schonwald, who also sampled the burger, said the bite he took felt “like a conventional hamburger” but added that the flavor and lack of fat made it “conspicuously different” from the original beef patty.

So although the stem cell patty might taste like meat, there’s a major downside: It’s expensive! The burger cost more than $300,000 to make, a hefty price tag for what just might be the food of the future.

BBC News:

Mark Post of Maastricht University and the man behind the patty, previously said that for it to be a success it would have to “look, feel and hopefully taste like the real thing”.

…For the burger to be approved to market a “dossier of evidence” would be needed to show that the product is safe, nutritionally equivalent to existing meat products and will not be at risk of misleading the consumer, said the Food Standards Agency.

Dr Iain Brassington, a bioethicist, at the University of Manchester, said it was easy to dismiss the inevitable arguments against it, such as the “frankenfoods gambit – the idea that this process interferes with nature”.

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