Above: liquefied turkey and celery squares being printed at Cornell University. Good to know that Cornell actually does something inside their architecturally gorgeous campus buildings. But printing food?? Looking into the future, I suppose if there’s agricultural collapse, we’ll have to find alternatives to the standard ‘grow and ship’ model of delivering our food.
But is “printing” our food a reasonable alternative when climate change turns farms sour? Scientists are saying this technology creates a new revolution in food systems. They even envision printing of food on demand, and incorporating the injectors with a microwave oven. Imagine growing meat in a kitchen appliance, sticking it into a liquefying injector system and then printing instant hotdogs for the kids. YUM?
"3D printing will do for food what e-mail and instant messaging did for communication," says Mr Cantu.
Discovery wrote about the need to print food back in 1997. The article, titled Chasing the Jetsons, discusses three technologies of the future, flying cars, robot servants, and food printer-cookers. These are three elusive technologies that people supposedly have wanted since the 1960s. Movies have been made about the auto industry’s failure to produce a flying car, and plenty of scientists are pursuing robotics.
But is there a need for magic food printing machines? Perhaps…
"While we know that the Jetsons’ Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle instantly produced reasonably yummy-looking meals at the touch of a few buttons, the cartoon failed to specify the workings of this machine or the exact nature of its product. So we’re going to have to make some assumptions here. For one thing, the machine cannot have been materializing food out of thin air- -there has to be some limit even to what people of the future can do.
It also could not have had access to thousands of ordinary ingredients, which it mixed and cooked in its microwave-oven-size chamber in less than a second. So we have no choice but to conclude that it must have been measuring out blobs of tasteless but nutritious paste, squirting in chemicals that approximated the flavor and color of the selected food, squeezing the paste into the appropriate shape and texture, and then flash- heating it to get the paste to set.