Food hacking

I’ve talked a bit about the idea of 3-D printing household objects, but I was unaware until now that scientists are seriously considering the idea of printed food.

The kitchen of the future could see all our fancy devices – even refrigerators and ovens – replaced by a 3D printer which will create meals from cartridges full of carbohydrates, protein powders and oils.

While only the very rich will be able to afford to eat real meat, fish and vegetables, Contractor predicts everyone else will eat customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oil they buy at the corner grocery store.

With traditional food sources extremely rare, those powders could be anything containing the right organic molecules including insects.

Dutch technology company TNO Research has suggested that 3D printing could make it possible to turn food-like starting material, such as algae, insects and grass, into edible meals.

Basically, it’s the idea that food is made up of core components that can be “assembled” by a printer.

Reminds me a bit of this guy who claims to have invented a drink that provides all the essential nutrients a person needs to stay alive. What does he call it? “Soylent”, of course!

Both articles touch on an interesting idea: food hacking — the notion that we can take food apart and then reassemble it, or assemble new kinds of food from components not necessarily thought of as food. It’s a crazy world in which we live.

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