That Ain’t Food

Tastiest Steak In Town.

The future of food is 3-D printing?

When it comes to 3D-printed food, there is a best-practice “recipe” that overcomes some major manufacturing hurdles of this emerging sector, according to a new study.

Why it matters: The latest U.N. climate change report identifies the role of climate warming in exposing millions of people worldwide to acute food insecurity. Some are looking to untapped solutions.

How it works: 3D-printed food is made through an additive manufacturing process similar to standard 3D printing — except it’s done using edible materials.

“Are the edible materials fresh tonight, Pierre?,” said no one, ever.

3D-printed food could be used to supply essential nutrients to those without access to fresh, whole foods because of a lack of affordability and availability, says Jonathan Blutinger, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University, who co-authored another paper on 3D cooking released this week.

This sounds like a solution in search of a problem. There is no way that the answer to affordable food is hi-tech, 3-D printed food. On the face of it, it’s ridiculous and self-cancelling, and you damn well know some Tech Billionaire is going to own it and make it and corner whatever market there is for this stuff. I’ll also add that the vegetable meat substitutes have still not found their market after a decade.

If fresh vegetables are out of reach, what makes them think highly processed and engineered foods will be?

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18 Responses to That Ain’t Food

  1. Oneofthebobs says:

    Kibble tastes better when it’s 3d printed!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rhoda says:

    People seem to wanna embrace novelty just for the sake of novelty. Fake meat is a perfect example. I’m all about a plant based diet, but if I feel like having a burger once in a while, it’s gonna be from an old-fashioned bovine, dammit.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ten Bears says:

    I called it … when I was still in the game, when 3D was still new: food replicators.

    Earl Green, hot …

    Liked by 4 people

    • tengrain says:

      That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Always ahead of the curve, Ten Bears.



      Liked by 3 people

    • ali redford says:

      A cable co. in Wichita, Cox as I recall, used to have an ad showing people how great [Cox’s] internet was, and how families can thrive and succeed using it, culminating in a middle school genius looking at dad’s new printer, and thinking: “3-D printed food” while eating cheese puffs. I didn’t make that up.

      Golden Rice hasn’t really caught on, either, despite the fact that it’s real food that grows out of the ground. I’m not posting to discuss that, I’m just saying.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rhoda says:

      Soilant Green is people!


  4. w3ski4me says:

    3D food? What worthless crap will they think of next? Living in a part of Ca. that doesn’t get even B-grade fruit and vegetables out of our green belt, the idea is almost intriguing. That’s ‘almost’. I heard they just made artificial Chicken. But if it’s veges, and the beef is now veges, how can you tell them apart except by the coloring? Yuck is all I can say.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ali redford says:

      I used to enjoy Morningstar Farms now and then, but they got outrageously rare and expensive when the pandemic happened; prices have not adjusted to lack of demand now.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. gruaud says:

    Soylent Green is the best soylent.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Y’all joke but it is a real 3D Printer category, with many commercial models available:!

    Most are used to print stuff like chocolate, and hitherto impossible-to-make cake decorations and such.

    So no it’s not going to solve the food shortage problem anytime soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. purplehead says:

    Reminds me of Juicero! Woot! 16 months max and it’s done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. glitterbug says:

    Long ago, I worked in a flavor factory. It’s not all Tutti-Frutti.
    The meat flavors looked like something in the bottom of a toilet bowl and smelled even worse.
    Fish flavors were overwhelming.
    Coffee flavor smelled like dead skunk.
    Cheese flavor like beer vomit.
    Even the “normal” ones were very strong.
    It was an experience.


    • OMG, that dredged up something I’d long forgotten… back when we lived in NY a friend worked for General Foods, which had its research center in Tarrytown NY. He was a chemist, in this case working on developing flavor compounds, specifically for Purina products, dog food and such.

      He came up with a flavor he immediately dubbed ‘sweaty chicken’, which was NOT a successful invention.

      I worked there (in an entirely different lab) some years later and brought him up, everyone immediately went “Oh, you mean Sweaty Chicken guy!”

      I was in the Food Physics lab; we worked on quantitatively measuring ‘mouthfeel’…one of the things I worked with were various formulations of bran flakes that got connected to our force measuring instruments to see how crunchy they stayed after being in milk for varying amounts of time. One batch could not even be wetted by the milk. They just floated on top.

      These too were not a successful invention.

      I’ve had some weird jobs….

      Liked by 2 people

      • purplehead says:

        I bet we all have had weird jobs! One of the most amusing “parlor” games I’ve ever participated in was during a winter field camp that had a bare minimum skeleton crew to maintain things. We tried to keep ourselves entertained out there in the sage brush. The game was to plot a flow chart on a white board, showing all the previous jobs we’d had that got us to this point. One of the funniest jobs was from a woman who had worked in a place that made falsies. (Bet lots of people don’t even know what those are, these days.) One of mine was as a boot-black in the financial district of downtown Boston. That actually, anthropologically-speaking, one of my most interesting jobs.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. retiredeng says:

    My favorite flavors are red, orange and yellow.

    Liked by 3 people

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