THE world’s first stem cell burger garnered mixed reviews after its launch last week — despite theories that it is more sustainable than traditional livestock.
While many hailed the news as a miraculous technological advancement, others felt this was food production going in the wrong direction.
The £250,000 project was created by Dutch scientists, who took cow stem cells and fed them nutrients in order to grow strips of muscle.
These were then minced and combined with colour and seasoning to create a like-for-like replacement to a traditional burger.
Despite a costly start-up process, the new technology is said to use less space and energy than conventional livestock.
Although initially expensive to set up, the new technology has been hailed as a possible way to satisfy the ever-growing world demand for meat.
According to a Oxford university study, a tonne of “cultured” beef would require 99 per cent less land and between 82 and 96 per cent less water than its “natural” rival, and would produce between 78 and 95 per cent less greenhouse gas.
Emma Hockridge, head of policy at the Soil Association, said: “There is still a long way to go before these products are anywhere near, if ever, being commercially viable.”
We took to the streets to ask southsiders their thoughts.
Byron (61) and Amy (62) Myrden, from Giffnock, said: “We don’t really eat burgers but when we do we would prefer to go natural. Farming needs to get back to basics.
“This change is too far in the wrong direction.”
Giffnock man Norman Adams (76) agrees, adding: “It definitely won’t be appearing on my dinner plate! Real, British beef is hard to beat.
“It is unsettling to see these advancements being made.”
And for 69-year-old Brian Stevens, from Newton Mearns, “natural food is the only way”.
He added: “First the horse meat scandal then this! I hate the thought of something so artificial. I do not think they would be perfectly able to replicate the taste.”
But for butcher Stuart Adams, who works in the Avenue, it just might be the future of meat production.
The 50-year-old told The Extra: “It won’t happen for many years. It’s a good idea though and I have no moral objections. I would happily sell it if it was at a reasonable price and it met public demand.”