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Anorak | The £250,000 Burger: Truck Down Economics Makes Us All Fat

The £250,000 Burger: Truck Down Economics Makes Us All Fat

by | 1st, September 2011

THE £25,000 burger. No, this isn’t someone smearing foie gras and gold lame over a piece of beef. Rather, let’s grow the meat in a vat and then make a burger. Expensive mind:

First artificial burger to cost £250,000

Artificial meat created in a lab could be ready to eat within six months, scientists claim – but the first burger will cost more than £200,000.

There are a number of technical problems to overcome: it has to be stuck to velcro so it can be “exercised” for as we all know, muscles just don’t grow unless they are. It’s also disturbingly pallid as there’s not much blood moving through it. But the basic idea of growing cells in as vat and then eating them does seem to be possible. If we can grow livers in vats for people (just about possible these days) then growing a burger seems reasonable enough.

And we’ve been growing food in vats for ages: Marmite is just the boiled yeast left over from making beer in vats.

The thing is though, that cost. Who wants to pay £250,000 for a pallid underexercised burger? Well, the point about this is that of course the second one won’t cost anything like that and the millionth will cost something close to spit. For this is the one form of trickle down economics that really does work.

New products cost a fortune to produce and they tend to appeal only to the very richest. Think those 80s mobile phones the size of bricks. Or the contemporaneous computers, £2k (and that was real money back then), that could just about add up in mono. Or cars back in the day: Herr Daimler got it going in the 1880s but it wasn’t until Ford around WWI that a working man could afford one.

Trickle down economics really does work: not in the sense that we get some of the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table, but in the sense that the rich subsidise the new products that our children will use. Bit of a bugger in the meantime of course, but there we go.



Posted: 1st, September 2011 | In: The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink