Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Future Lunch Item At The Googleplex: Sergey Brin's Patented Stem Cell Steak

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 5, 2013


Google co-founder Sergey Brin has funded a project that grew strips of meat from stem cells, which were then collected to form a burger, cooked and eaten at a live event in London.

Bloomberg reporter Makiko Kitamura: Brin's $332,000 Lab-Grown Burger Has Cake-Like Texture - Bloomberg

The 5-ounce burger, which cost more than 250,000 euros ($332,000) to produce, was developed by Mark Post of Maastricht University with funding from Google co-founder Sergey Brin...Cultured meat production uses as much as 60 percent less energy, resulting in up to 95 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions and 98 percent lower land use compared with conventional production in Europe.

The texture was described a cake-like and with no fat in the meat, there isn't much flavor. It's color came largely from beet juice and saffron.

Growing meat is a lot less damaging to the environment than farming it. However, it could be another "decade or two" before it is commercially viable. Scientists have to figure out how to grow fat.

The lab process requires fetal bovine serum, which is expensive and it competes with its use to make vaccines.

There's no word yet if "Brin's Burger" will be offered in Google's free food staff cafeterias, or if it will come with cheese. 

The Guardian has a video of Sergey Brin and scientists explaining the impact of meat consumption.


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