World's first test-tube burger tasted in London | Bangkok Post: learning

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Aroi Mai? First test-tube burger tasted

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No cows were killed for the world's first laboratory-grown beef burger served to volunteers yesterday in London. 

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The world's first lab-grown beef burger is displayed in London on August 5, 2013 AFP

World's first test-tube burger tasted in London

By Alice Ritchie (AFP)

Austrian food researcher Hanni Ruetzler samples the world's first lab-grown beef burger AFP

LONDON — Scientists unveiled the world's first lab-grown beef burger in London on Monday, frying it in a little oil and butter and serving it to volunteers in what they hope is the start of a food revolution.

The tasters pronounced the 140-gram patty, developed at a cost of more than 250,000 euros (10.4 million baht) with backing from Google co-founder Sergey Brin, as "close to meat" in flavour and texture but not as juicy.

The so-called "cultured beef" — dubbed the "Frankenburger" — was made using strands of meat grown from muscle cells taken from a living cow, mixed with salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs and coloured with beetroot juice and saffron.

Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, who led the research, claimed it could eventually replace ordinary beef in the diets of millions of people and in so doing reduce the huge environmental pressure caused by raising livestock.

Post insisted the artificial beef is safe, promising to give the leftovers from Monday's tasting to his children.

"I ate it myself a couple of times with no hesitation whatsoever... I would feel perfectly comfortable letting them taste it," he told journalists at the tasting.


Post acknowledged that the technology was at a very early stage but predicted the meat could be on supermarket shelves in 10 to 20 years. "This is just to show that we can do it," he said.

The first public tasting took place at a west London theatre, where a professional chef cooked the round, pink patty over low heat at a kitchen counter similar to those used in TV cookery shows.

One of the volunteers, Austrian food researcher Hanni Ruetzler, cut into it carefully, before declaring: "It's close to meat. It's not that juicy, but the consistency is perfect."

US-based author Josh Schonwald tastes his lab-grown beef burger AFP

US-based author Josh Schonwald, the other volunteer, added: "The absence is the fat. There's a leanness to it. But the bite feels like a conventional hamburger."

He remarked that the whole experience was rather unnatural, jokingly complaining that he should have been allowed to try the beef with a little tomato ketchup.

The scientists took stem cells from organic cows and placed them in a nutrient solution to create muscle tissue, which then grew into small strands of meat.

The burger required 20,000 such strands, grown over three months.

Proponents of test-tube meat cite a variety of reasons for supporting it, from animal welfare to the environment and even public health – lab-created meat theoretically carries no risk of disease and is not treated with antibiotics.

According to a report from the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, global meat production will more than double between 2000 and 2050, to 465 million tonnes.

Campaigners say such demand is putting unsustainable pressure on the planet, both through the feed required for the animals and the methane gas they produce, which contributes to global warming.

Britain's Vegetarian Society questioned the need for such technology when people could just stop eating meat.

Now watch a short news report on the tasting session:

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

absence: not being present - การหายไป ไม่ปรากฏตัว

acknowledge: to accept or admit that something exists, is true or is real - ยอมรับ

antibiotics: drugs that cure illnesses and infections caused by bacteria - ยาปฏิชีวนะ

artificial: made by people instead of being something natural - ที่ประดิษฐ์ขึ้น

backing: support - การสนับสนุน

beetroot: a plant with a round dark red root that is cooked and eaten as a vegetable - บีทรูท

breadcrumbs: very small pieces of bread that can be used in cooking - ขนมปังชิ้นเล็กมากที่ใช้ทำอาหาร

campaigner: a person who takes part in organized activities which are intended to change something in society - ผู้ต่อสู้,ผู้รณรงค์,ผู้โฆษณาเผยแพร่

cite: to mention something as an example - กล่าวถึง

claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง

co-founder: a person who works with another to establish an institution, business or organisation -

consistency: how thick, smooth, etc. something is - ความเหนียวข้น

contribute to: to help to cause an event or situation - ช่วยก่อให้เกิด

conventional: usual or normal - ธรรมดา

counter: a long flat surface over which goods are sold or business is done in a shop/store, bank, etc - เคาน์เตอร์, โต๊ะขนาดยาว

couple: two - สอง

cultured: grown artificially - ซึ่งเพาะเลี้ยงขึ้นในห้องทดลอง

declare: to state something firmly and clearly - ยืนยัน

diets: the food and drink usually taken by a person or group - อาหาร

display: to put something in a particular place so that people can see it easily - โชว์, แสดง

dubbed: called; given a name - ถูกเรียก ตั้งฉายา

environmental: involving the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them - เกี่ยวกับสภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม

eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด

global: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

hesitation: when you pause before doing something, especially because you are nervous or not certain - ความลังเล

insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

journalist: a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television - ผู้สื่อข่าว

juicy: containing a lot of juice and good to eat - มีน้ำเนื้อมาก, มีน้ำมาก

leanness: the quality of not having much flesh or fat - ความผอม,ความขาดแคลน

leftovers: the food that remains at the end of a meal after you have finished eating - สิ่งของที่เหลือ

livestock: animals such as cows, sheep, chickens and pigs that are kept on farms - ปศุสัตว์

muscle: a piece of body tissue that you contract and relax in order to move a particular part of the body; the tissue that forms the muscles of the body - กล้ามเนื้อ

nutrient: a substance that is needed to keep a living thing alive and to help it to grow - ธาตุอาหาร, สารอาหาร

ordinary: not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ

organic: produced or practised without using artificial chemicals - (เกษตรกรรม)เชิงชีวภาพ

patty: finely chopped meat, fish, etc. formed into a small round flat shape -

predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า

pressure: a force pressing against something - ความกดดัน

pronounce: to say or give something formally, officially or publicly - ประกาศ

proponent: a person who speaks publicly in support of a particular idea or plan of action - ผู้เสนอ, ผู้สนับสนุน, ผู้เห็นด้วย

reduce: to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง

research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย

revolution: a great change in conditions, ways of working, beliefs, etc. that affects large numbers of people - การเปลี่ยนแปลงอย่างสิ้นเชิง

risk: the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen - ความเสี่ยง

saffron: a bright yellow powder made from crocus flowers, used in cooking to give colour to food - ผงสีเหลืองอมส้มทำจากดอก Crocus

shelf (plural: shelves): a flat board, made of wood, metal, glass, etc, fixed to the wall or forming part of a cupboard/closet, bookcase, etc, for things to be placed on - หิ้ง, ชั้น

solution: a liquid in which something is dissolved - สารละลาย

stage: a part of an activity or process or a period of development - ช่วง, ระยะ, ตอน

stem cell: a basic type of cell which can divide and develop into cells with particular functions. All the different kinds of cells in the human body develop from stem cells - เซลล์ต้นกำเนิด

strand: a single thin piece of thread, wire, hair, etc - เส้น

texture: the quality of something that can be decided by touch - เนื้อ

theoretically: that could possibly exist, happen or be true ตามหลักทฤษฎี, ตามหลักการ - ตามหลักทฤษฎี, ตามหลักการ

tissue: the substance that animal and plant cells are made of - เนื้อเยื้อ

unsustainable: that cannot be continued at the same level, rate, etc - ที่ไม่สามารถจะดำเนินต่อเนื่องในระดับเดียวกันอัตรา ฯลฯ

unveil: to show or introduce a new plan, product, etc. to the public for the first time - เปิดเผย, ประกาศให้รู้ทั่วไป

variety: many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย

volunteer: someone who is not paid for the work that they do - อาสาสมัคร

welfare: good care and living conditions, in this case, for animals - ความสะดวกสบาย, ความมีสุขภาพดี, สวัสดิภาพ

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