World hunger is a very real and pressing issue, although sometimes, it is difficult to understand why. Even in developing countries where there are pockets of starvation in the populace, you will also see excesses when it comes to food. For sure, there is a complex web of underlying reasons for this problem, but no matter what your stand may be in this issue, there is no doubt that there are hungry people all around the world. And what better application for technology than to find ways to feed everyone?
How about some 3D-printed meat?
I don’t blame you if you cringe at the mere thought of biting into a chunk of 3D-printed meat, but why not think of it this way? Star Trek. They use the replicator to create any kind of food or drink that one may desire. Who says it is not similar to 3D printing?
A company in Missouri has set out to take advantage of technology to perhaps solve the world’s hunger problems in the form of 3D-printed meat. The company is called Modern Meadow ((a rather appropriate name, isn’t it?)), and they put together the principles of 3D printing and regenerative medicine.
It is not uncommon these days for people who have suffered serious injury to undergo procedures which regenerate human tissue. Going along those lines, why shouldn’t it be possible to create strips of meat fit for human consumption?
And it seems that Modern Meadow is on the right track to eventually commercially produce 3D-printed meat. The prototype they are aiming for will not feed a hungry man (or woman, for that matter), but the fact that a strip of meat measuring ~2 cm x 1 cm x 0.5 mm can be 3D-printed is a good start, isn’t it?
The only other issue I can think of – aside from the understandable aversion to “fake” meat – is the flavor. I wonder if it would be like eating a nice steak from a real cow?