Sometime later this year, a yet-to-be-named guinea pig very lucky culinary pioneer will take the first bite of the first hamburger grown in a lab. At that point, the cost of making that burger will have totaled more than $331,000 (an estimated 250,000 euros). The meat will be grown from bovine stem cells that produce muscle and fat — and if that sounds less than appetizing, keep in mind that the burger will be prepared by famed chef Heston Blumenthal.
That is to say — all of this will be true if scientist Mark Post can manage to produce a convincing-looking artificial burger, like he says he can. Right now, according to the Guardian, Post is “still working with unappetizing half-millimeter thick strips of lab-grown meat that are pinky-yellow in color.” The bulk of the burger’s hefty price tag is going to go toward making the petri-dish stuff look more like real meat. Post, says the Guardian, is “confident that over the course of this year he will produce a burger virtually indistinguishable from one bought in the high street.”