Meat scientists at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands have developed a synthetic hamburger which could revolutionise the food industry. It could potentially replace the use of real animals in meat production, which would help protect sensitive butchers who are afraid of killing.
Dr Peeter Schmeerdedijk explained how the process works. "Firsht we grow shtem cellsh from a hamburger in the vat. Then once it hash grown to a certain shize we let it out onto the farm."
At the university farm, a flock of hamburgers are gently grazing on the grass in the sunshine. "Shee. It'sh jusht like keeping shheep."
Despite the astonishing potential of the new development, animal rights campaigners have begun to protest at the university. "Free the burgers!" they chant. They believe the burgers should be allowed to roam freely in the wild, as nature intended.
Dr Scheemdedijk says he doesn't think the hamburgers would last very long in the wild. They are natural prey to any meat-eaters, as they haven't had a chance to evolve any defensive mechanisms. He says the next step would be to give them claws and teeth, then maybe brains and eyes and ears. Then they could be raised just like real sheep.
The synthetic burgers will be available in all good meat outlets later this year.