The world’s population has just recently hit the 7 Billion mark. That is a lot of mouths to feed. If the rate of population grows indefinitely, we might all find ourselves looking for unlikely food sources. Here we look at the three most revolutionary future meat tech; test tube beef, 3D printed meat and full meal pills. But first, let us take into account the big picture.
The big picture
Feeding the 7 billion worldwide population is a huge challenge. Grain-fed meat, the kind that most families eat at the dinner table day after day, is a massive contributor to global warming. In poorer countries, other kinds of food items are also fast becoming scarce thanks to changes in weather and climate and of course poor industry practices such as ethanol subsidies or export/import restrictions.
And although recommending veggies and fruits to be served on the table is a fantastic idea, man is naturally omnivorous. He craves meat and therefore meat consumption shows no sign of slowing down either. It is even expected that the demand for meat will increase by 73% by 2050.
But there is hope for this predicament but at the moment, it may not be that affordable to go around. We are talking about food grown from the laboratory; food alternatives that you may have never knew existed.
In a matter of 15 years or less, cultured meat will be served in the common man’s table. In fact, a burger patty from cultured meat made from the stem cells harvested from a shoulder of a cow was presented by Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. This was deemed as one of the most promising alternatives to meat and would soon become more affordable. But what about the taste? When the burger patty was presented to an audience in London, people that were lucky enough to taste the sandwich commented that it looked, smelled and tasted like the regular thing but a little less juicy. And the good news is, 1 stem cell taken from one single cow could grow more than 170 million burgers!
By the second half of 2015, a 3D food printing machine will become available for industrial and home use. Presenting Spanish-based company Natural Machines’ creation called ‘The Foodini.” This is a food printer that can create any kind of food that you can think of. Just load the printing cartridges with your usual food ingredients and then press a button. In a matter of minutes, you will be able to enjoy the food or food stuff that you picked. Experts say that it may also be possible to print out cultured meat using the same technology used to print out human tissues and therefore you could transform any kind of ingredient into a steak or a hamburger.
Another promising strategy is to consume food that provides all the nutrients that you will ever need in a day. Take a closer look at Soylent. This is an add-powder drink that can be used to replace every meal. Although the taste could get a little weird especially during the morning, a lot of people have tried and enjoyed taking Soylent. But not to entirely replace food all together.
There is no one that could predict what will happen in the future but with all these ideas, do you think that these are good enough to totally replace man’s need to consume more food?