There is a classic Three Stooges episode called "Disorder In The Court" in which Curly tells the Judge, "Truth is stranger than fiction Judgie Wudgie." It appears that Curly was correct, as the title question to this article is on track to be a reality in less than 10 years.
Dr. Mark Post of the Netherlands, among others, have been working on perfecting the technology to grow synthetic beef. In fact the world's first "test tube burger" is likely to debut in London before the end of this year. Although the cost to develop the first "test tube burger" has exceeded $300,000, the progress made to date indicates that synthetic beef may be available in food stores near you within the next decade.
In order to create a synthetic burger, stem cells are first extracted from bovine muscle tissue. The cells are then grown under tension in strips stretched upon velcro boards. When maturation is attained, approximately 3,000 muscle strips are minced together with 200 fat strips to create a synthetic burger.
Proponents of the technology claim it may be the solution to world hunger. Opponents to the technology question the safety and health risks of the synthetic "frankenbeef" and whether or not proper studies will be performed before it comes to market for human consumption. Further, that once it does come to market, will regulations and laws be in place to require labeling and proper warnings. Whether or not consumers will accept the idea of synthetic beef, remains to be seen.
This developing technology begs the question as to whether or not the 1973 movie entitled "Soylent Green", starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in his final film, really was fiction.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.