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Dead Or Alive? Who Knows

REUTERS/David Parry

The stem cell burger is back, and this time it might even be affordable.

We met the first lab-grown patty in 2013 — when it rang in at a mind-boggling $331,400.

But if that same burger were to be mass-produced today, it would cost $10 — a little more than two Whoppers — according to Mark Post, its creator, in an Arkansas Online interview. Post expects the wallet-acceptable, lab-grown burger to hit the market in five years.

The initial jarring price tag can be largely attributed to Post’s investment in the lab technology, which works a little like this: He grows the meat in a petri dish using bovine stem cells. That animal tissue builds protein and muscle fiber, just as it would in a live cow.

Post has been tweaking the pricey process for a decade at his lab in the Netherlands, and his next step is to incorporate fat into the burger to bump up the flavor.

The meat industry has kept a close eye on meat alternatives in 2016 as companies develop ways to mimic meat without crowded feedlots and gassy emissions. There’s the plant-based Beyond Burger that “bleeds” beet juice, its competitor Impossible Burger, and the first petri-dish meatball from Memphis Meats.

Guess that whole “meat is murder” thing is really going out of style.