No British demand for fake meat

August 05, 2013, 12:20 PM GMT+0

62% of the British public ‘would probably not eat’ artificial meat grown in a laboratory – but men and the young are less hesitant

The world’s first artificial hamburger - made from meat grown in a laboratory using the stem cells of cows - is being cooked and eaten today, however YouGov research from 2012 found the public less than salivating over laboratory-made meat.

The majority (62%) of British adults say they ‘would probably not eat’ artificial meat when asked to imagine it was available commercially. 19% ‘probably would eat’ the meat, while a further 19% haven’t made up their mind.

18-24 year olds are the most receptive to artificial beef, as a third (32%) probably would eat it. Half (50%) probably would not and 17% don’t know. That compares to an average of only 17% of their elders who might eat the meat.

More than twice as many men (28%) as women (11%) may eat fake meat. In fact, women are almost as put off by stem cell beef as vegetarians: 73% and 75% probably would not eat it, respectively. Interestingly, 14% of vegetarians would consider eating it, which is not many fewer than meat-eaters (20%).

The lab-grown beef burger is being cooked and eaten at a press conference today, by its creator professor Mark Post. It is the most expensive burger in history, costing around £250,000 to produce. Mr Post says that "Meat demand is going to double in the next 40 years. Right now we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You can easily calculate that we need alternatives."

Image courtesy of Getty.

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