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Test Tube Hamburgers…Where’s The Beef?

By Joseph E Rathjen
August 07, 2013

The thought of eating hamburgers grown in a test tube is revolting. It has nothing to do with the fact that the world’s food supply is having trouble keeping up with demand, or that producing meat from cattle is bad for the environment. It has to do with tradition. Eating juicy hamburgers at a barbecue or a baseball game is as American as apple pie, to use a cliche. To replace real hamburger meat with cultured glob would be like raping America of one of its favorite foods. Isn’t it bad enough we have to live with processed meat?

To make a test tube hamburger scientists take stem cells from organic cows and mix them in with a nutrient solution to create muscle tissue. They then add salt, bread crumbs, egg powder and colored beetroot juice and saffron. The mixture then grows into a make-believe beef patty. Notice I said make-believe because the difference between the test tube version and a real beef patty is that there is no fat in it and much less beef.

This may be great for the health-conscience. Certainly eating a hamburger with no fat content has to benefit you healthwise and to help cut down on calories. Test tube meat will also be free of any cow-borne disease and also free of antibiotics. It’s also good for the environment because of the reduction of methane gases released into the atmosphere from cows. That’s called farts for anyone who doesn’t know about methane.

When the first test tube hamburgers were taste tested in London this week, the participants reported that it tasted much like lean beef but that it had no juices. For me, personally, that would have been a major turnoff. If you are like me, you don’t want to be eating a dry, juiceless cheeseburger. It just doesn’t taste right or even smell right. Of course, you could put plenty of ketchup on it to “juice it up” so to speak, but you can’t fool a hamburger connoisseur. It’s the juice and the beef itself that gives any hamburger that great juicy, beefy taste.

Helping the environment, creating practical ways to satisfy the food demand and cutting down on calories and other health-related issues is a great thing. But sometimes when we eat we want to consume good tasting food. We wouldn’t have to worry about the calorie content and those other health issues if we would learn to control our eating habits and exercise more. When we learn to do that we can enjoy more of the naturally-produced foods that nature intended for us to enjoy…like a big, juicy, bacon-cheeseburger cooked on a hot, sizzling, barbecue grill.

You can have your test tube, fat-free laboratory burger, or should I say “frankenburger”. I’ll stick to the one that’s got the beef!

© Joseph E Rathjen – All Rights Reserved – 2013

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