I asked three chefs whether they’d consider using lab beef. They were not amused.

Last night on MSNBC's "All In," I asked three chefs whether they could imagine using the test-tube burger — or its down-the-road, cheaper-and-better-tasting descendants — in their restaurants. Nope! Even the mad food scientist Homaro Cantu backed off:

But perhaps this isn't the right place to start. All these chefs run restaurants where the ingredients are the star of the show and a reputation for shortcuts could lethally damage the brand. But there are other kinds of restaurants out there.

Taco Bell, for instance, has been sued for serving beef that's only 35 percent beef. They countered by insisting their beef is at least 88 percent beef. No one is suggesting their beef is 100 percent beef. Meat grown in a lab wouldn't be much of a jump. And it's megachains like Taco Bell and McDonald's where environmentally friendly, completely humane lab meat would make the biggest difference, anyway.

Related: Could test-tube burgers save the planet?

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Brad Plumer · August 6, 2013

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