"I'm a vegetarian, but I would be first in line to try this," said Jonathan Garlick, a stem cell researcher at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. He has used similar techniques to make human skin but wasn't involved in the burger research.
Brin says he was motivated by concerns for animal welfare based on what he knows about factory farming. Although those concerns are probably quite reasonable, the project he's backing as an alternative currently suffers from many of the same ones. As we pointed out when the idea first surfaced, the muscle cells used to make the burger were grown in media that contains a large dose of antibiotics and a key component (serum from calfs) that comes from the slaughter of actual cows. And there's currently no indication that the requirement for these materials is going to go away anytime soon. In other words, it's hard to see this as a technology "on the cusp of viability," as Brin described it.
So, is ortolan not decadent enough to be disgusting?
I really don't see what makes this particularly decadent. The 300,000+ price tag just reflects the newness of the tech--it's not deliberately priced to appeal to luxury markets.
I can't see US agribusiness letting this kind of thing happen for reals. Why on earth would they?
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