Artificial hamburger is on the way—BBC News

When will the madness end?

A new use for stem cells

The BBC reports that Dutch scientists are using them to create strips of muscle tissue in the laboratory. The aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat than rearing animals. From the report:

At a major science meeting in Canada, Prof Mark Post said synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%.” We would gain a tremendous amount in terms of resources,” he said.

Hey! What about reducing the meat environmental footprint by 100%—just stop eating meat. Apparently, the industry is finally beginning to realize that current methods of livestock production are unsustainable. Duh. The article continues…

So why use such high tech methods to produce meat when livestock production methods have done the job effectively for thousands of years? It is because most food scientists believe that current methods of food production are unsustainable.

Some estimate that food production will have to double within the next 50 years to meet the requirements of a growing population. During this period, climate change, water shortages and greater urbanisation will make it more difficult to produce food.

The article points out that “if the technology took off, it would reduce the number of animals that were factory farmed and slaughtered.” Duh. Countering that piece of brilliance was David Steele, who is president of Earthsave Canada, saying that “the same benefits could be achieved if people ate less meat.” He continued:

“While I do think that there are definite environmental and animal welfare advantages of this high-tech approach over factory farming, especially, it is pretty clear to me that plant-based alternatives… have substantial environmental and probably animal welfare advantages over synthetic meat,”Dr Steele, who is also a molecular biologist, said “he was also concerned that unhealthily high levels of antibiotics and antifungal chemicals would be needed to stop the synthetic meat from rotting.”

The question is when are we going to get serious about “dispelling the protein myth,” taking charge of our health, feeding the world safely and ending the horrific suffering of so many billions of animals? See link to the BBC article beneath my signature. For a better solution:

Dispelling the Protein Myth

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

And if you like what 4Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

BBC News – Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger.

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J. Morris Hicks -- Member of the Board of Directors -- Click image to visit the foundation website.

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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5 Responses to Artificial hamburger is on the way—BBC News

  1. Bill K. says:


    I agree with your sentiments regarding this story. We seem to be going through a whole lot of trouble to make a reproduction of meat when we could get a lot more benefits from just switching to a plant based diet and get a much better result.

    Sometimes we all need a tap on the back of the head to wake us up as our mind can stray off track occasionally. I think this scientist is due for a knock on his door as he has been starring into a microscope for too long.

    Bill K.

  2. Mitzi says:

    As a person who has grown cells for years in the lab now, all I can say is “NO!” DO NOT CONSUME IT. I do not care if they say they can produce it more efficiently than the animal on the hoof. It takes a massive amount of air purification, controlled environment, sterile technique, and specialized media ( containing blends of antibiotics and antifungal agents) that take energy to produce to create these things. Their energy accounting has to be mighty creative to say lab-grown meat can compete with well-managed grass-fed. I guess they aren’t saying that- they’re comparing to industrial feedlots with trucked-in feed.
    In the real world, goats can live in semi-arid areas too dry for vegetable farming (not to mention cleaning up scrubby brush without fossil fuel use- they can eat poison ivy!). A cow can live on grasslands too rocky or flood-prone for plowing, while preserving the natural grass diversity if managed properly. I don’t eat such things anymore, but I grew up on a farm where my grandfather’s dairy cattle were beloved, grass-fed as much as possible, and happy. Grandpa’s sheep were pets. Most of his income came from eggs (from chickens that would now be called free-range) and tomatoes. I may be mostly vegan now, but I heartily respect farmers like him, and hope they can someday make a decent living.
    If we all ate a lot less meat, the feast once or twice a year could come from a farmer who actually cared about the animals and their humane treatment. We could manage the oceans and farmlands sustainably, and pay the herdsmen and fishermen enough to make a living. We could easily grow enough lentils and grains for everybody. And everybody could have that goat/lamb/lobster/sushi/turkey/steak for a holiday without breaking the system. But we can’t all live like kings, no matter how many millions we pour into research trying to do it.

  3. Leo M. Schwaiger says:

    By following your links to a video of Lester Brown one can get a free 174-page download of his book World on the Edge. He points out what is happening worldwide. Here is the link which might send a copy to anyone interested. Hope it works.

    Click to access wotebook.pdf

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