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Inside the meat lab: the future of food

Inside the meat lab: the future of food
The future feast is laid out around a cool white room at Eindhoven's University of Technology . There is a steak tartare of in-vitro beef fibre, wittily knitted into the word "meat". There are "fruit-meat" amuse-gueules. The green- and pink-striped sushi comes from a genetically modified vegetarian fish called the biccio that, usefully, has green- and pink-striped flesh. To wash this down, there's a programmable red wine: with a microwave pulse you can turn it into anything from Montepulciano to a Syrah. For the kids, there are sweet fried crickets, programmable colas and "magic meatballs". None of this is quite ready to dish up. The truth, though, is that artificial steak is still a way off. This quest is key to the future of food. "It's the default thing to do, to try and replicate what you know," warns van Mensvoort. It's all Monsanto's fault. "African scientists say, 'Don't you dare bar us from this technology,'" says Fresco. Our desires in food are laden with paradox.


Future Technology Could Eliminate the Need to Eat Food By early 2030s, experts predict nanobots will be developed to improve the human digestive system, and by 2040 or before, as radical as this sounds, we could eliminate our need for food and eating. This is the vision of futurist Ray Kurzweil and nutritionist Terry Grossman, M.D., in their popular book, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. In the coming decades, the authors claim, “We will be able to reengineer the way we provide nutrients to our trillions of cells.” Current method of extracting nutrients from food is not working very well. Nearly two thirds of Americans are overweight and it has become extremely difficult for most people to achieve proper nutrition as we trek through our 21st century maze of confusing health options. However, by mid-2030s, nutritional needs tailored exclusively to meet each person’s requirements will be more clearly understood.

How 3D printing is changing health and medicine In this extract from Print Shift, our one-off publication about 3D printing, editor Claire Barrett reports on the growing number of medical applications for the emerging technology and asks how soon we can expect 3D-printed organ transplants. Imagine printing a human liver. Or a kidney. Food desert A food desert is a district with little or no access to large grocery stores that offer fresh and affordable foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. [ 1 ] Instead of such stores, these districts often contain many fast food restaurants and convenience stores. "Access", in this context, may be interpreted in three ways: Physical access to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, or if the consumer has no car. Healthy options are unavailable.

Future of Food Like most people, I don’t think I can be easily fooled. But that’s just what happened when I was asked to taste a chicken taco and tell whether the meat inside was real or fake. The meat certainly had the look and the smell of chicken. I took a bite and it had the taste and texture of real chicken, too.

Late nights 'sap children's brain power' 8 July 2013Last updated at 19:45 ET By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online Late nights may have knock-on effects Late nights and lax bedtime routines can blunt young children's minds, research suggests. The findings on sleep patterns and brain power come from a UK study of more than 11,000 seven-year-olds. Youngsters who had no regular bedtime or who went to bed later than 21:00 had lower scores for reading and maths.

Food Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy required by the ever increasing population of the world is supplied by the food industry. Food safety and food security are monitored by agencies like the International Association for Food Protection, World Resources Institute, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Food Information Council. They address issues such as sustainability, biological diversity, climate change, nutritional economics, population growth, water supply, and access to food. The future of food? Edible walls, bug burritos and 3D food printers set to take our kitchens by storm Trend forecasters predict we will use virtual recipes and grass wallsThey say health will be monitored by nutrition analysis systemsDesigners have created 3D food printers, breathable walls and social cooking systems'Food futurologists' predict we will eat mealworm meatballs By Bianca London Published: 12:52 GMT, 25 September 2013 | Updated: 16:06 GMT, 25 September 2013

'Virtual Lolita' aims to trap chatroom paedophiles 11 July 2013Last updated at 10:03 ET The Negobot strikes up conversations to catch paedophiles in online chatrooms Spanish researchers have created a robot posing as a 14-year-old girl to spot paedophiles in online chatrooms. Negobot uses artificial intelligence (AI) software to chat realistically and mimic the language used by teenagers. The "virtual Lolita" starts off neutral but will adopt any of seven personalities according to the intensity of interactions. Experts say it can help overburdened police but may risk trapping people unfairly.

SIFT How-To: Build a Composting System At the heart of every farm should be an efficient composting system. Compost not only reuses some of the food that would otherwise go to waste, but it also helps add rich nutrients to soil—without using pesticides and other additives. Composting is a process; it requires regular maintenance and constant care. To learn about the processes of composting, see the ATTRA publication Composting: The Basics, available online at Also, check out our handy “composting recipe” card that can be printed/clipped from this edition of SIFT News. So how do you go about fitting the right composting system to the needs of your operation?