Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Illustration for article titled Burger the lot of them

You know that burger everyone made a big fuss about? Ooh, it is made with beetroot and saffron colouring. Great for all yoghurt weavers you would think. What do you think was used to grow this miracle of modern science? Foetal bovine serum, some unmentioned (or unmentionable) gelling agent and antibiotics. Which is why I was questioning whether this is a useful "proof of concept". New Scientist report.


These scientists have managed to turn beef into beef! Alchemy has nothing on them. As far as I know, no-one has any idea how to grow animal tissues without antibiotics to kill the fungi and bacteria that love these foodstuffs more than animals do. To produce the growth factors and weird bestial nutrients found in FBS you would need to genetically modify something until it was virtually an animal anyway, so why not genetically engineer the next generation of Quorn fungus? Perhaps they could leave out the egg if it got good enough. (Woah, I knew it was a Fusarium but I never realised that they had the balls to make it from Fusarium venenatum, named for poison).

I should declare my lack of interest. I gave up animal products (unless they crawl into my food of their own accord, greenfly are fair game) 30 years ago. Partly because I did not like meat, eggs or dairy stuff. Why would one eat bee vomit when fruit comes in a thousand flavours from date syrup to calvados? Snail and venison is OK but it never moved me like a freshly-made bhaji or roast potatoes or grilled mushrooms or hummus-stuffed roast aubergine or... So, for me it will still only be plants, fungi, minerals, bacteria and algae. I might be tempted to try some archaea but the other little critters don't tempt me.

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