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A $325,000 burger was consumed this weekend in London. There were no hearty chunks of freshly flown-in Maine lobster, no caviar present. No exorbitant amounts of shaved truffles were found. And no, this was not the auction price for Prince George’s first bite of food. So, what exactly was it about this hamburger, which contained no fat or salt and was described by one taster as “an animal-protein cake,” that was so newsworthy?

The burger was made from cow muscle produced using stem cells and grown in a laboratory, as reported by the New York Times. The main goal of the two-year process was to show that lab-made meat can provide high-quality protein for the world’s growing population — while reducing water, land and energy use — as well as emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases. And yes, apparently researchers still have quite a way to go in making this patty somewhat enticing to diners worldwide.

Only time will tell if the ambitious project will gain traction and eventually present itself as a viable alternative to today’s increasingly sorry excuses for meat. 

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