From Mercury News:
Or a soda. Or, regrettably, that telltale soupcon of fat that makes a burger actually taste like a burger. It does, however, come with a heaping side of bragging rights. Making its debut Monday at a tasting event at a London restaurant, the world's first manufactured beef patty was created in a laboratory from a living cow's stem cells, funded by the deep pockets of Google's quixotic co-founder. The burger's backers say cultured meat could help alleviate animal cruelty while combating climate change, with lab-grown meat easing the environmental burdens of livestock production.
And while those who tried it said the patty bordered dangerously close to being tasteless, its mere existence pleased animal-rights activists, stem-cell pioneers and food fetishists everywhere, not to mention millions of cows eyeing a new lease on life. “We're trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger,” Brin said in a videotaped message released Monday, as the world learned for the first time about his role in the project. “From there, I'm optimistic we can really scale up by leaps and bounds.” Already known for firing off “moonshots,” the call-me-crazy projects like Google Glass, the driverless car and personal genome analysis, the 39-year-old Brin can now add the test-tube burger to his résumé. This moonshot, Brin said, was driven by his concerns for animal welfare. In the video, he said the way animals are treated is “something I'm not comfortable with.” And he said creating alternatives like in-vitro meat makes more sense than expecting everyone to become vegetarian.