A team of researchers hope to create lab-grown meat by 2009 that smells and tastes just like the real thing. The ability to grow small quantities of muscle using stem cells is routinely done by scientists, but now they're looking to bring mass quantities of synthetic meat to supermarkets. One of those researchers, Paul Kosnik, is growing self-assembled muscle in the lab:
"All of the technology exists today to make ground meat products in vitro. We believe the goal of a processed meat product is attainable in the next five years if funding is available and the R&D is pursued aggressively."
The researchers say the first artificial meat products will be minced meat that tastes just like ground beef or sausage. They're also saying that a single stem cell could theoretically produce all of the meat consumed in the world for a year.
It's going to be a challenge to create just the right mixture of muscle and fat to give burgers that juicy, yummy taste. If this test tube meat can be mass produced, it will be a great boon to our non-sustainable meat-eating culture. Oh yeah, and they also will need to convince people to eat it.
Test Tube Meat Nears Dinner Table [Wired News]