RFF#52 – Hamburgers can be grown in Petri dishes

The first ever man-made hamburger was unveiled this week in London. It was created by a team of Dutch scientists led by Mark Post. Apparently they created the burger by growing cow stem cells and the project cost over $300 000 (Cdn), and it took them over five years.

While the goal of the project is to decrease world hunger and combat climate change, experts say it will be at least another decade or two before this kind of technology will reach them masses. Furthermore, growing meat in a test-tube doesn’t solve all of the problems associated with meat consumption, as antibiotics and growth hormones are still needed to support the growth of the stem cells. Hence, the health issues associated with meat are not necessarily addressed by this new technology.

I learned about this fact from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/08/05/technology-lab-grown-burger.html


RFF#18 – Salt increases the amount of water that binds to meat…therefore, salty meat weighs more, and thus costs more

Have you ever wondered why there is so much salt in our food? There are a couple of reasons, and this one demonstrates that salt isn’t just there to add flavor and extend shelf life. Apparently it may also increase food industry profits.

—I learned about this fact from: He FJ and MacGregor GA. A comprehensive review on salt and health and current experience of worldwide salt reduction programmes. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2009;23:363-384.