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3D printed meat could soon be cheap and tasty enough to win you over
www.geek.com ^ | Feb. 12, 2013 (9:30 am) | By: Ryan Whitwam

Posted on 03/06/2013 12:48:35 PM PST by Red Badger

The next time you’re about to bite into a hamburger, take a moment to consider the resources that went into making it. In a recent Solve for X talk, Andras Forgacs laid out all the statistics, and explained how tantalizingly close we are to a more sustainable method of meat production. Basically, humanity may soon be 3D printing meat instead of growing it in an animal.

Forgacs starts by explaining just how costly a single quarter-pound beef patty is to produce. For that one serving, 6.7lbs of grains, 600 gallons of water, and 75 square feet of grazing land were used. Now multiply that by 1000 to find your (approximate) impact — the average American eats over 220lbs of meat each year. Additionally, at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to meat production. All this for one burger?

As economic opportunities continue to lift populations around the world into the middle class, demand for meat is rising. With 7 billion people on the planet, we are sustained by 60 billion land animals. When the population hits 9 billion somewhere around 2050 we would need 100 billion land animals. That would be ecologically devastating, so something has to change.

Advances in bioengineering have been able to produce meat analogs, but the process has always been stupendously expensive, and the results were only passable. It turns out that it’s actually very difficult to match the taste and texture of animal muscle tissue by growing cells in the lab. The marbling of fats and connective tissue is integral to the experience of eating a burger.

Applying 3D printing to artificial meats could be the answer, according to Forgacs. If you take tissue engineering and add in some 3D printing, you get the burgeoning field of bioprinting. Researchers are working with cell aggregates as the medium in bioprinting (as opposed to plastics in regular 3D printing). Layer after layer of cells can be laid down to more closely resemble the genuine article. Researchers can basically build a block of muscle that never lived.

So maybe it’s going to be possible to make artificial meat that feels and tastes like the real deal, but what about cost? Well, Forgacs concedes that it does still cost a few thousand dollars to make a pound of meat in the lab. Unless you’re seeking the most expensive burger in the world, that’s no good. Still, the cost of real meat is inevitably going up and the printed stuff will become cheaper as economies of scale kick in. The process right now is taking place in a research lab, not a large production facility.

Printed meats will eventually become cost-competitive with the dead animal kind. Until then, we may all have to take a closer look at what we’re eating.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical
KEYWORDS: food; startrek
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1 posted on 03/06/2013 12:48:46 PM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

"Mmmmmmmm, 3D Printed Meat."

2 posted on 03/06/2013 12:50:29 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Red Badger

3 posted on 03/06/2013 12:50:29 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

I dunno, Picard never had much good to say about the food from the replicators. Ketchup and A-1 sales will skyrocket.


4 posted on 03/06/2013 12:50:42 PM PST by jagusafr (the American Trinity (Liberty, In G0D We Trust, E Pluribus Unum))
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To: Red Badger

I’m not going to pay attention until I can get a neat synthahol on the holodeck.


5 posted on 03/06/2013 12:51:54 PM PST by Ouchthatonehurt ("When you're going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill)
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To: dfwgator

Print me a cheeseburger, please, and a side of fries............


6 posted on 03/06/2013 12:53:03 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger
The marbling of fats and connective tissue is integral to the experience of eating a burger.

Bunk.

Steak, yes.

Burger, no.

7 posted on 03/06/2013 12:54:26 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Red Badger

LOL, Steve Miller is going to have to update “Living in the USA”

“Somebody print me a cheeseburger.”


8 posted on 03/06/2013 12:54:48 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Red Badger

That is just SO WRONG...


9 posted on 03/06/2013 12:54:59 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger
Eat More 3D-Meat!


10 posted on 03/06/2013 12:56:04 PM PST by TexasCajun
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To: Red Badger

Soylent Green?


11 posted on 03/06/2013 12:56:28 PM PST by Klaatu Barada Nikto (Liberty is not a Loophole)
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To: DuncanWaring

To get a good burger, you have to have a minimum of fats to make it nicely flavorful and run-down-your-arms juicy........


12 posted on 03/06/2013 12:57:01 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Klaatu Barada Nikto

Not really, this ‘meat’ never lived.............


13 posted on 03/06/2013 12:58:45 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

you mean no more horsemeat at the local drivethru burger palace?

is NOTHING sacred anymoe!?


14 posted on 03/06/2013 12:59:20 PM PST by faithhopecharity (()
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Who has the ‘Foodie’ ping list?..........


15 posted on 03/06/2013 1:00:15 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

Soylent Green?


16 posted on 03/06/2013 1:01:45 PM PST by Klaatu Barada Nikto (Liberty is not a Loophole)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

I never understood the object behind ‘synthahol’. What good is it if it doesn’t make you drunk?...........


17 posted on 03/06/2013 1:02:45 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

Eh...no thanks. Since we’ve already got all kinds of animals made of meat running around I don’t see the need to make fake meat.


18 posted on 03/06/2013 1:03:00 PM PST by pgkdan ( "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Red Badger

Would spaghetti have to go through the shredder first?


19 posted on 03/06/2013 1:07:19 PM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Red Badger
Reminds me of the Tree That Give(s) Meat Instead Of Fruit!
20 posted on 03/06/2013 1:09:31 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("Somebody has to be courageous enough to stand up to the bullies." --Dr. Ben Carson)
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To: Red Badger

IMO some the so called facts (numbers & percentages) are suspect in this story. Sounds as this piece was written with just one goal in mind (as usual).


21 posted on 03/06/2013 1:09:48 PM PST by Ron H. (Hussein Obama, the 21st century American Balkanizer - 'Yes I Can')
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To: Red Badger

I’ve long believed that rat meat was the coming source of protein. Rats can be raised easily, they breed wildly and they eat anything. I say this because, in addition to the quota of horsemeat that will be included, rat meat (along with rat droppings no doubt) will probably be included in your “printed” burger.


22 posted on 03/06/2013 1:10:23 PM PST by The Sons of Liberty (It's not "GUN CONTROL"! It's "PEOPLE CONTROL"!)
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To: Red Badger

.... HA .... almost sounds like the food replicator on Star Trek.


23 posted on 03/06/2013 1:11:32 PM PST by R_Kangel ( "A Nation of Sheep ..... Will Beget ..... a Nation Ruled by Wolves.")
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To: Red Badger

I’m on a liquid diet. Make me a counter proposal. :D


24 posted on 03/06/2013 1:12:00 PM PST by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: Red Badger

I don’t often eat meat, but when I do, it got killed.


25 posted on 03/06/2013 1:14:30 PM PST by polymuser ("We have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!" (HRC))
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To: HomeAtLast

The only burgers eaten now are from Burger from the meat market that processes it from real cows!
Last Mcy DEE burger like to have killed me!
No more fast food burgers! Taco Bell Burger King or any other!


26 posted on 03/06/2013 1:16:22 PM PST by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: polymuser

As the Nuge says, “You can’t grill it, until you kill it.”


27 posted on 03/06/2013 1:16:55 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: HomeAtLast
SRC="http://cdn.trendhunterstatic.com/thumbs/squeezabe-bacon.jpeg">
28 posted on 03/06/2013 1:18:03 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: HomeAtLast

29 posted on 03/06/2013 1:20:29 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

That would have to free up a hell of a lot of land for other purposes.


30 posted on 03/06/2013 1:21:47 PM PST by varmintman
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To: Red Badger

For real?
Be still my heart.


31 posted on 03/06/2013 1:23:30 PM PST by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: Red Badger

This 3D printing is amazing. One could hunt 3D printed meat with a 3D printed rifle.


32 posted on 03/06/2013 1:23:42 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: Red Badger

“Forgacs starts by explaining just how costly a single quarter-pound beef patty is to produce. For that one serving, 6.7lbs of grains, 600 gallons of water, and 75 square feet of grazing land were used. Now multiply that by 1000 to find your (approximate) impact — the average American eats over 220lbs of meat each year. Additionally, at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to meat production. All this for one burger? “

Even if all that BS were true such a burger only costs ~$2 fully prepared at places like McDonalds. Who in their right mind would want a printed burger?


33 posted on 03/06/2013 1:24:48 PM PST by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: HomeAtLast

It's real. From Sweden....... http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/859f098d-4c82-4f6a-aa7c-13f60c82333f/squeez-bacon

34 posted on 03/06/2013 1:25:44 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Jyotishi

.... and go to a 3D printed prison for hunting without a 3d printed license..........


35 posted on 03/06/2013 1:27:28 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

I remember when I fell for that


36 posted on 03/06/2013 1:28:57 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Red Badger

Thank you! There are some needs that even chocolate cannot address.


37 posted on 03/06/2013 1:30:10 PM PST by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: Red Badger

“Forgacs concedes that it does still cost a few thousand dollars to make a pound of meat in the lab. Unless you’re seeking the most expensive burger in the world, that’s no good. Still, the cost of real meat is inevitably going up and the printed stuff will become cheaper as economies of scale kick in. The process right now is taking place in a research lab, not a large production facility. “

Anyone who ever worked with cell cultures can tell you that it is extremely difficult and costly to produce a gram of cells let alone a pound. And if the culture gets infected with bacteria (VERY COMMON) the whole batch would be ruined.


38 posted on 03/06/2013 1:31:38 PM PST by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: HomeAtLast

Sorry, after further review the ‘product’ turns out to be an April Fool’s joke from ThinkGeek.com........8^(


39 posted on 03/06/2013 1:32:01 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

The mythical pot of gold at the end of the gastronomic rainbow.


40 posted on 03/06/2013 1:32:11 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: GeronL

I just did, for a while. I really wanted some...............


41 posted on 03/06/2013 1:33:22 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: dead

Too bad it’s not real. I bet it would really sell like crazy! Especially to Paula Dean viewers.........


42 posted on 03/06/2013 1:35:55 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger
Here's your printed meat!


43 posted on 03/06/2013 1:37:55 PM PST by PGR88
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To: The Sons of Liberty
I’ve long believed that rat meat was the coming source of protein. Rats can be raised easily, they breed wildly and they eat anything.

Aye, but do they go quietly into that good night? And do we want to eat what eats anything?

Larry, Darryl, Darryl, pick up the phone...

44 posted on 03/06/2013 1:38:48 PM PST by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: Red Badger

*sigh* Easy come, easy go...


45 posted on 03/06/2013 1:40:13 PM PST by HomeAtLast ( You're either with the Tea Party, or you're with the EBT Party.)
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To: Red Badger
For that one serving, 6.7lbs of grains, 600 gallons of water, and 75 square feet of grazing land were used

I call bull on these numbers.

Figure that a side of beef weighs what? 500 lbs? Times 2 for 1000 lbs total. That's 4000 quarter pounders, if you were to grind it all up. (which I wouldn't. I like filet. :-) )

Means that the cow eats over 12 tons of grain. And took up over 6 acres of grazing land, on top of that.

Even halving the numbers would be ridiculous.

46 posted on 03/06/2013 1:43:22 PM PST by wbill
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To: Red Badger

Well, yes, but it doesn’t have to be “marbled in”; you can toss a lump of fat in with the meat as it’s being ground, as is done with ground venison.


47 posted on 03/06/2013 1:44:44 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: wbill

30 lbs a day of forage seems to be the number
not sure how many days to slaughter

http://www.thebeefsite.com/articles/3154/how-much-forage-does-a-beef-cow-consume-each-day


48 posted on 03/06/2013 1:45:51 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: Red Badger

I wonder how the cells meant to be used to make this synthetic meat are going to be grown?

Will they be fed using serum from fetal calves killed at the time their mothers are slaughtered, the way cells in labs all over the year are fed?

Somehow, I don’t see this technique as ever becoming cheap, or resulting in fewer animals being killed.


49 posted on 03/06/2013 1:48:35 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Ron H.

Yeah, see my post #46. I’m no cattle farmer, but the numbers made no sense to me, either.


50 posted on 03/06/2013 1:48:50 PM PST by wbill
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