Unless you chose this week to disconnect from the World Wide Web, then you most probably came across the news that the world’s first test-tube burger was cooked and then eaten.
Cultured Beef, meat created by painlessly harvesting muscle cells from a living cow, was created by Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.
A quick visit to the Cultured Beef website provides plenty of food for thought when it comes to the reasons behind the cultured meat and what we can expect from it in the future. ‘Tweet Me’ bubbles shout out:
“Cells taken from one cow could produce 175 million burgers. Modern farming would need 440,000 cows.”
“Cultured Beef is expensive now, but will be much cheaper when large-scale production is perfected.”
“Cultured Beef is 100% natural beef, just grown outside the cow. No unnatural chemicals added.”
No unnatural chemicals is good but as the taste testers, Josh Schonwald and Hanni Rützler agreed, the flavour still needs work.
But while everyone was focused on the taste of the burger, and rightfully so, we wondered what it must have been like for Chef Richard McGeown who had the arduous task of cooking this infamous burger.
McGeown is the Executive Head Chef at Couch’s Great House Restaurant located in the heart of Polperro, a fishing village in South East Cornwall.
Tightly packed into a steep valley on either side of the River Pol this village has a history steeped in not only fishing but in smuggling too. Wagon loads of contraband regularly left Polperro, heading across Bodmin Moor and onwards towards London.
Nowadays, the traffic free streets and colour washed cottages have visitors trying their best to stay longer rather than heading back to the city in a hurry. And we’re guessing that after Chef McGeown’s recent TV appearance, a stop at Couch’s Great House Restaurant has now been added to many a traveller’s visiting list. But with production costs coming in at €250,000 per burger, don’t expect to find Cultured Beef on the menu – yet, at least.