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3-D Printable Food Gets Funding From NASA 242

cervesaebraciator writes "According to Quartz, '[Anjan Contractor's] Systems & Materials Research Corporation just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer. But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3-D printing, envisions a much more mundane — and ultimately more important — use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3-D printer, and the earth's 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor's vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.' No word yet on whether anyone other than the guy trying to sell the technology thinks it'll make palatable food."
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3-D Printable Food Gets Funding From NASA

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  • What about.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjwt ( 161428 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:15PM (#43787101)

    I hope it has a way to print a decent texture.. I would prefer not to live off mush.

  • Who is this for? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WillgasM ( 1646719 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:30PM (#43787305) Homepage
    Other than astronauts and zombie bunkers, I don't see the appeal. We already pack strange synthetic food into cans that have more than enough shelf life for most occasions. I'd be willing to bet I'd prefer the taste and texture of said canned goods to whatever playdough this thing prints out. The only food that occasionally gets wasted around my house is fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat; none of which would really be replaced by this technology. If you find a way to print something more palatable that what I can already get from a can, then let me know.
  • Right. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slapyslapslap ( 995769 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:32PM (#43787355)
    Because today's food made from powder sucks because of the method of reconstitution, and not the fact that it was made into a fucking powder in the first place.
  • by oic0 ( 1864384 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:33PM (#43787367)
    if $5 could feed ME for a month I might actually have some money to donate :P
  • by mtippett ( 110279 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:36PM (#43787401) Homepage

    Although it can be nutritionally appropriate, it may still not be good for the body. I am not a biologist, but I don't believe that the body is built for finely processed food. I am assuming that there is some research correlating highly processed/refined foods and the some of the common ailments in the western world.

    A great example I have seen showing processed vs non-processed foods is to simply put the food in a bowl of water. A lot of processed food will within a matter of minutes puff up to a multiple of their size, and when stirred will simply break up into a liquid solution. Natural (unprocessed, even minimally processed) foods will generally stay together for a lot longer.

    Give it a couple of centuries, and we'll see how the human gut and digestive system evolve. Oh wait, we'll have medical systems to prevent natural selection, so we're going to be co-dependently evolving with our technology.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman