The world's first "test tube" burger is to be unveiled and eaten in London today.
Scientists at an institute in the Netherlands took stem cells from a dead cow and turned them into strips of muscle, which they combined with other ingredients to make a patty.
Researchers say the technology used in the project, which costs £215,000, could lead to a sustainable way of meeting a growing demand for meat.
But critics of the initiative argue that eating less meat would be an easier way to combat expected food shortages, reported the BBC.
Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, the scientist behind the burger, said: "Later today we are going to present the world's first hamburger made in a lab from cells.
"We are doing that because livestock production is not good for the environment, it is not going to meet demand for the world and it is not good for animals."
But Professor Tara Garnett, head of the Food Policy Research Network at Oxford University, urged decision-makers to look beyond technological solutions.
"We have a situation where 1.4 billion people in the world are overweight and obese, and at the same time one billion people worldwide go to bed hungry," she said.
"That's just weird and unacceptable. The solutions don't just lie with producing more food but changing the systems of supply and access and affordability so not just more food but better food gets to the people who need it."