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Google's Brin funds $332K lab-grown beef hamburger, looks to make meat a sustainable resource

post #1 of 127
Thread Starter 
A project funded by Google cofounder Sergey Brin has yielded the world's first "synthetic" beef hamburger, the first step in what the billionaire hopes is a transformation in sustainable foods.

Brin
Google's Sergey Brin discusses the values of cultured beef. | Source: CulturedBeef.net


It was announced on Monday that Brin funded the project looking into lab-grown beef, dubbed "Cultured Beef," which has the potential to change the way humans farm and consume meat, reports The Guardian.

While still a proof-of-concept, and nowhere near ready for sale at the local supermarket, studies by the University of Oxford suggest cultured beef could use as much as 99 percent less space than current livestock farming, while cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Along with environmental benefits, cultured beef can help with a rising beef demand that is forecast to outstrip production within 40 years. With synthetic beef, livestock can be farmed less intensively, thus tapering a reliance on antibiotics which are stored in fat cells and can lead to cancer in humans.



"There are basically three things that can happen going forward," Brin said in a video . "One is we'll all become vegetarian. I don't think that's really likely. The second is we ignore the issues and that leads to continued environmental harm. And the third option is we do something new."

Led by physiologist Dr. Mark Post, the research team at Maastricht University took a small sample of cow stem cells and grew 20,000 strands of muscle fiber over the course of three months. These strands were combined to make one hamburger patty. According to Post, the few sample cells can theoretically turn into ten tons of meat.

Post
Dr. Mark Post holds a sample of cultured beef. | Source: CulturedBeef.net


The first cultured beef patty was cooked up and served to Taste of Tomorrow author Josh Schonwald and Austrian food trends researcher Hanni R?tzler from the Future Food Studio. The synthetic beef, which was colored with beet juice and saffron, reportedly had the texture of real beef, but lacked flavor. This is to be expected, as cultured beef lacks fat cells.

For more information, the researchers have set up a website filled with facts and figures on meat sustainability, as well as video on how cultured beef is made.
post #2 of 127
Not sure, but a lot of people I know eat substantially *less* beef now than we did when we were younger, and that's including the rise in incomes. The only truly sustainable way forward is reduction, which is clearly what no one really wants to do. They choose to instead turn to commercialized science to provide solutions to problems. But at the end of the day, it seems increasingly more frequent that the solutions are often becoming more and more problematic.

Still, even without that, I'm not sure I'd want to eat that. Sort of could be Son of Pink Slime.

Just thinking this over a bit more you have to ask the question why would you want to eat fake food? We already have a wide variety of pseudo-food products that make up most of our supermarket selections so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Why stop at soy filler and high fructose corn syrup?

I can't resist. Must. Make. Samsung. Joke.

"Samsung's response would be to assemble wet shredded newsprint, mix in some FD&C Red #5, put it on sale for the same price then demand 2.25% of each pound sold from other producers because they own a patent. If they don't get it, they run to the ITC."
Edited by patrickwalker - 8/5/13 at 6:20pm
post #3 of 127
The idea of eating the synthetic muscle (can one really call it beef?) creeps me out. Almost as much as the fact that he can't be bothered to take off the Google Glasses to talk about it. I'm surprised that he's not seeing if the muscle can be cultured in the Google Glass itself and trickled into his body. If this is the future of humanity ...
Jimbo
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Jimbo
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post #4 of 127
Why is this even being covered by AI? This is insane. If the FDA even thinks about it, the lawsuit lawyers will be waiting in the wings for the first person to get sick.

The better way to reduce greenhouse gases caused by cow emissions (f*rts) is to reduce the number of cows and to get people to eat less animal based protein, something the human body doesn't need in such quantity (or at all). When I was growing up, we didn't eat 5lb hamburgers or 30 oz steaks multiple times a week. We were a lot healthier than the fat people today who cram so much unnecessary meat into their bodies it's no wonder they get sick with cancer and diabetes. Eat healthier, don't attempt to grow animal protein for human consumption.
post #5 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickwalker View Post

Just thinking this over a bit more you have to ask the question why would you want to eat fake food? We already have a wide variety of pseudo-food products that make up most of our supermarket selections so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Why stop at soy filler and high fructose corn syrup?

Agree. It is sad but today in our day and age one must look hard for actual food. Like you said, go to any supermarket and just look. The vast majority of the products being sold are truly what one would call "food-like products." Everything is highly refined and processed --and in many cases altered (with additives, preservatives, hormones, etc). And everyone knows that the more processed the food is the more calories and the less nutrients the "food" has. No wonder we have a society where nearly 70% of the population is overweight (and a lot of them are obese). It is sad but the vast majority of people make their food choices based on taste and not on nutritional value.

I highly recommend anyone to watch on Netflix: "Food Matters," "Hungry for Change," "Forks Over Knives," and "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." These are great eye openers.
post #6 of 127
I wonder if the protein is extracted from excrement. Google has a lot of excrement for which they need a solution. This may be a perfect solution for Google.
post #7 of 127
so... what does it have to do with Apple?
post #8 of 127
I propose everybody eat an Apple a day instead.

That would be more fruitful.
Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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post #9 of 127
I read about this the other day but did not realize he was behind it...gross (and wa$teful).

Might as well be strike 3 for Google...
post #10 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

The better way to reduce greenhouse gases caused by cow emissions (f*rts) is to reduce the number of cows and to get people to eat less animal based protein, something the human body doesn't need in such quantity (or at all). When I was growing up, we didn't eat 5lb hamburgers or 30 oz steaks multiple times a week. We were a lot healthier than the fat people today who cram so much unnecessary meat into their bodies it's no wonder they get sick with cancer and diabetes. Eat healthier, don't attempt to grow animal protein for human consumption.

Also agree. The sad thing --and also the root of the problem-- is that all these beef manufactures are in the business of making money and not in the business of producing foods. If this process were to eliminate the expense of feeding, breeding, killing, and processing the cow... eliminate the expense of needing to administer hormones and vaccination (not to mention farmers will no longer need as much land)... you can bet they will all eventually go that route. It's about the money... health? They can care less...
post #11 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I propose everybody eat an Apple a day instead.

That would be more fruitful.

And what type of Apple?  A Macintosh?   

 

They haven't come up with an iPad Apple did they?  

post #12 of 127

It cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions? So what happens, these cows fart less per capita?  It's reducing the amount of methane gas emissions.  I wonder what it tastes like.

post #13 of 127
Next ... Sergey has funded a project how we should fart to make $$ with integrated Google's One-Ad-Fart.

On a serious note, Sergey's mama didn't teach the boy how to respect his $$. Google is gonna go down, you know!

On even more serious note (no, I'm serious! :P), we consume too much McDonald already. Thanks!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #14 of 127
Strangely you need to login with your Google ID when you order it.
post #15 of 127

$332,000......   Did anyone tell him he could have just bought a can of SPAM for about $3.32?

post #16 of 127

Vegans and those swayed by crazy govt guidelines like the food pyramid, let them eat such franken-foods. The swathing of land to grow monocultures of grains, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds is doing more to damage land than raising animals that continually fertilise the lands they graze on. The seeds (the part we eat) are coated with phytic acid that prevents insects, birds and us from digesting them easily and cause allergies and digestive ailments. Good luck in expecting franken-burgers having all the nutrients to keep humans healthy. The worst crime is what parents' food-practices are doing to children whose brain development is being overwhelmed with sugars/carbohydrates and the lack of fats that feed brain development.

 

Do No Evil. Whether by design or blunder should Google carry out this venture to success, Woe be the nation that accepts such foods to its children's diet. Let the adults choose what they put into their own mouths but what of the children whose caregivers and governers do not know how nutrition really works.

 

The over processing of foods in the last century has not lead to greater health. The longevity we may seem to enjoy has come not from our food but from cleanliness and education: hand washing, cleaner homes, hospitals, surgeries; sanitation & the removal of human waste in large communities; antibiotics.

 

Cancer rates are up by many fold even as the patents on updated formula run out on Chemo drugs got from the concentration/extermination camps of Germany after the Second World War.  And even as radiation has become more precise since its first use for cancer in 1899, the scaring, distorting and devastation to healthy cells and tissue is a crime our medical professions will shutter at and joke about just as they now joke about the past insanities of blood leaching and other quirky methods now discarded. Surgery for cancer still sometimes works when a part can be spared. But the craziest philosophy of logic gone mad is the wiggle room that is raised, the false argument of cancer success rates based in numbers of years because 'cure' is so sorely an infrequent ocurance as to actually be an anomaly.

 

Oh why is dark the light and light the dark when it comes to practical reasoning about what we put in our mouths. For us, the big ones, big deal, eat your Big Macs. But our children are our future yet only ancient and simple cultures seemed to know this and saved the prized food for their babies for it was the babies who were their future.

 

The future now is measured in status and bank accounts and comfortable old age. Let the kids look after themselves. Yes, but let us at least not bar their way to finding foods enjoyable that actually nurture their brains and bodies and allow them to contemplate upon the possibilities of spirit. When ill and wrongly nourished, such is so difficult to do.


Edited by mhikl - 8/5/13 at 7:29pm

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

Reply

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

Reply
post #17 of 127

I'm waiting for Soylent Green.

 

I can't imagine this ever tasting good without additives. Growing up on a farm there's nothing tastier than a steak from a freshly slaughtered cow.

post #18 of 127

Another UFO: Unidentifiable Food-like Object.  That's what I would call food in stalls on the streets of Delhi, Agra or Ahmadabad.  

 

Now, this is truly a genuine UFO.

 

Heaven help me if the time ever arises and I do an Oliver Twist asking for another bowl of this Son of Pink Slime beef.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

 

Cancer rates are up by many fold even as the patents run out on Chemo drugs got from the concentration/extermination camps of Germany after the Second World War, and even as radiation has become more precise since its first use for cancer in 1899. Surgery still sometimes works when a part can be spared. And then the wiggle room, the false argument of cancer success rates based in numbers of years because 'cure' is so terribly an infrequent ocurance as to actually be an anomaly  

 

I think people are also not succumbing to quick deaths from simple cuts and injuries.  That's one major reason why there appears to be a rising level of cancers and other chronic diseases.  As we get older, the probability we get hit by something rises.  The other major reason is that we are getting better at diagnosing disease both before and after death.  

 

Thirty years ago, when an elderly person died, it would just be filed as pneumonia or heart attack and no one would really think it mattered what natural cause they died from.


Edited by patrickwalker - 8/5/13 at 7:18pm
post #19 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

$332,000......   Did anyone tell him he could have just bought a can of SPAM for about $3.32?

Pellet to a squirrel is near free. Infinitely renewable resource. Gamo Whisper ftw.
post #20 of 127
Funny the responses to someone trying to help humanity. What has Apple or Tim Cook been working on that helps humanity?
post #21 of 127
Y'all read this very different than I did. As I understand it they're just using the same type of cell culturing techniques they are using in medicine to produce all sorts of replacement tissue to produce cow tissue... Beef. Genetically it would be beef and the technique itself would probably not allow for harsh chemicals. Nothing like pink slime. So the cows wouldn't be different, they would be eliminated.
post #22 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

Funny the responses to someone trying to help humanity. What has Apple or Tim Cook been working on that helps humanity?

Most likely, like Jobs, many things nunya.
post #23 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

Funny the responses to someone trying to help humanity. What has Apple or Tim Cook been working on that helps humanity?

 

I wouldn't calling this helping humanity at all.  Sounds more like attempting to preserve a human behaviour that shouldn't be encouraged.

 

It's getting to the point where even I question science.  That's why I stressed the problem of commercialized science above.  The more we continue on, the more it seems the technological solutions to the problems arising from technology turn out to not be solutions at all.  People joke that a person now has to take a drug to counter the side-effect of the one before it.  Then another drug to counter the side-effects of that one.  And so on.  I don't think it can't just be chalked up to simple greed, either.  I think we are devoid of trust in a broad sense (people have no faith in any institution or our leadership anymore) and we are also seriously lacking in proper leadership.  Far too many of us simply go along with the corporate will so we can avoid the uncertainties of unemployment.

 

Food for thought.  :)

post #24 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by eckergus View Post


Agree. It is sad but today in our day and age one must look hard for actual food. Like you said, go to any supermarket and just look. The vast majority of the products being sold are truly what one would call "food-like products." Everything is highly refined and processed --and in many cases altered (with additives, preservatives, hormones, etc). And everyone knows that the more processed the food is the more calories and the less nutrients the "food" has. No wonder we have a society where nearly 70% of the population is overweight (and a lot of them are obese). It is sad but the vast majority of people make their food choices based on taste and not on nutritional value.

I highly recommend anyone to watch on Netflix: "Food Matters," "Hungry for Change," "Forks Over Knives," and "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." These are great eye openers.

good documentaries - yet this experiment was to produce something that would be closer to "nature" not a burger made of refined corn.

for $300K i think it was an interesting experiment.

post #25 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Why is this even being covered by AI? This is insane. If the FDA even thinks about it, the lawsuit lawyers will be waiting in the wings for the first person to get sick.


 

Lets not experiment or try anything new cos the lawyers might be waiting ?

post #26 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by netrox View Post

so... what does it have to do with Apple?

 

Steve wore real glasses, and was a pescetarian.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

Vegans and those swayed by crazy govt guidelines like the food pyramid, let them eat such franken-foods. The swathing of land to grow monocultures of grains, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds is doing more to damage land than raising animals that continually fertilise the lands they graze on...

 

never the less, have you read how many millions of acres are cleared so that we can let cattle graze? If we need more meat, making meat without the suffering or inefficiency of using cattle is not in itself a bad idea, certainly its an idea to be explored 

post #28 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I wonder if the protein is extracted from excrement. Google has a lot of excrement for which they need a solution. This may be a perfect solution for Google.

cant argue with that one...

post #29 of 127

I hope they don't eat that stuff.

Could have repercussions years later.

 

Why don't they try to clone fish or chicken?

 

Time will tell.

post #30 of 127

And once again we find that Google is evil. Tasteless, fatless beef? What's the point?

 

I do understand the point they are making however. Raising livestock for beef takes a very long time and enormous amounts of resources. However, I fear that this will just end up driving up the cost of real beef which means we will have to settle of terrible look-a-like patties.

post #31 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I'm waiting for Soylent Green.

 

I can't imagine this ever tasting good without additives. Growing up on a farm there's nothing tastier than a steak from a freshly slaughtered cow.

how about a cow that was slaughtered many weeks ago, and the steak aged properly?

post #32 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUndertow View Post

I read about this the other day but did not realize he was behind it...gross (and wa$teful).

Might as well be strike 3 for Google...

really wa$teful - yup $300K for an experiment to see if a lab produced piece of beef can be compared with taste and texture to one from kiiling an animal...

wanna see gross - visit an abattoir, slice a piece of meat for yourself and fry it up.

guess you didnt do too well in grade school science

post #33 of 127

Petri dish grown meat has feelings too.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #34 of 127
Considering how poorly many animals are made suffer in the name of profit this is probably for the best. It's cheaper to look out for the welfare of a stainless steel tank than to maintain a farm so there's incentive there too. Given the lack of adipose cells it might even be a healthier option. At least until someone decides it's a good idea to process it with saturated fat. Would probably need vitamin fortification.

Interesting to note that the product is being tinted with beetroot juice and saffron. Without tinting it looks pale and unpalatable (because it lacks haemeoglobin). I can't imagine saffron being viable on an industrial scale; I'm sure this is part of romancing the idea (as is the term "cultured").

Farming could be done ethically and sustainably if only the world's population wasn't so great (and growing). We're due for a significant population collapse anyway if we run out of useful antibiotics. These things have a curious way of self-correcting. Immediate comfort is almost always at someone's future expense.

The iPatty?
post #35 of 127

Wow, look at all the ignorant technological luddites in this forum. This isn't even GMO, it's essentially just culturing muscle tissue, the same way you culture skin cells for burn victims.  What's more fake, cultured muscle tissue, or cows pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormone and fed minced up brain matter from other cows, you've been eating for decades,

 

This story has nothing to do with AI, or mobile, the only reason it was linked on this site was to give zealots another stupid reason to try and bash Google. If Steve Jobs had been behind this, everyone would be falling to their knees praising how genius it is.

 

It's so sad to see people's derangement and bias on one particular issue (favorite company X phone vs opposing company Y), turn into blanket and knee-jerk opposition to anything.

 

 

The basic facts of the matter is, eating meat is a tremendous waste of two scarce resources: land and water. Telling people not to eat meat is like telling them not to drive cars. This project is the meat equivalent of an electric car. It's an attempt to preserve  a way of life without preserving the environmental damage.

 

(And honestly, someone who buys a wasteful and disposable product like a mobile phone or tablet which are constantly obsoleted every 2-3 years should not be criticizing meat eaters for environmental damage, given the toxic waste and human worker suffering produced by buying tech toys)

post #36 of 127

"The synthetic beef, which was colored with beet juice and saffron"

 

Why use saffron? Its the most expensive spice in the world, and just for coloring? Probably to add some flavor too. Anyway, I like this idea of culturing meat, someone should research getting the flavor right next. Could they also culture this stuff in space? Although how would you cook it in a space station.

post #37 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

Wow, look at all the ignorant technological luddites in this forum. This isn't even GMO, it's essentially just culturing muscle tissue, the same way you culture skin cells for burn victims.  What's more fake, cultured muscle tissue, or cows pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormone and fed minced up brain matter from other cows, you've been eating for decades,

 

This story has nothing to do with AI, or mobile, the only reason it was linked on this site was to give zealots another stupid reason to try and bash Google. If Steve Jobs had been behind this, everyone would be falling to their knees praising how genius it is.

 

It's so sad to see people's derangement and bias on one particular issue (favorite company X phone vs opposing company Y), turn into blanket and knee-jerk opposition to anything.

 

 

The basic facts of the matter is, eating meat is a tremendous waste of two scarce resources: land and water. Telling people not to eat meat is like telling them not to drive cars. This project is the meat equivalent of an electric car. It's an attempt to preserve  a way of life without preserving the environmental damage.

 

(And honestly, someone who buys a wasteful and disposable product like a mobile phone or tablet which are constantly obsoleted every 2-3 years should not be criticizing meat eaters for environmental damage, given the toxic waste and human worker suffering produced by buying tech toys)

Thank you.

I just read that 70% of the deforestation in the brazilian Amazon was for pasturing, compared to 3% for logging.....

post #38 of 127

This is really misleading though.  

 

All the advertisements for the process like this one show hamburger that looks just like hamburger, but every report by anyone who has seen it or eaten it, describes it as "grey," "slimy," and that it tastes "not very much like beef."

 

This is really just false advertising.  Synthetic meat is just not very likely to be a replacement for real meat for a long time.  

 

Like most Google projects ...this is more "pie in the sky" than it is meat on your barbecue. 

post #39 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

I hope they don't eat that stuff.
Could have repercussions years later.

Why don't they try to clone fish or chicken?

Time will tell.

The process is pretty much the same as cloning. They are taking cells from a cow muscle and replicating them in a Petri dish. It's similar to how they grow organs in the lab for people to use in transplants.

This means the meat is IDENTICAL to what you eat from the supermarket, except that it hasn't grown with fat and blood to give it the taste or colour of meat. Cells are cells, no matter where they are.

It's an interesting concept. I think it is a good start and certainly worth looking into. We always need innovation and searching for new ways of feeding our increasing population is important.
post #40 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This is really misleading though.  

All the advertisements for the process like this one show hamburger that looks just like hamburger, but every report by anyone who has seen it or eaten it, describes it as "grey," "slimy," and that it tastes "not very much like beef."

This is really just false advertising.  Synthetic meat is just not very likely to be a replacement for real meat for a long time.  

Like most Google projects ...this is more "pie in the sky" than it is meat on your barbecue. 

The meat is white because it hasn't had blood or CO2 to give it the colour (you know they add carbon monoxide (CO) to your beef so it has that nice red colour at the market). And fat is what gives meat its flavour. This is strictly muscle so there is no fat, hence no flavour.
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