Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Artificial Food

ByFlow's 3D food printer

As global population continues to increase to record highs, scientists around the world have been struggling to solve our food crisis. We simply don’t seem to have the natural resources to support the number of humans on the planet, at least not at current consumption levels. Up until the advent of 3D printing, synthesized foods were never really much of an option. The focus was historically on industrializing the agriculture industry, which we have seen has had averse effects on the ecosystem. Now, the spotlight has shifted towards the potential of “designing” food rather than growing it. Meat and other foods (carrots are mentioned in the article) have already been produced in lab settings, and some companies are beginning to introduce these products into the public marketplace. A California company, Just, has suggested that it will bring its first meat cultured product to the marketplace by the end of 2018. A Dutch company, ByFlow, manufactures 3D food printers for just over $4,000. A lot of our processed “junk” foods are already manufactured, but this is the first time we are seeing plants and meats being artificially produced.

So my question to you, if McDonald’s or Wendy’s started to print their burgers would you still eat them?

9 Responses to Artificial Food

  • Artificial food is definitely an interesting topic that I’ve never heard of before. When I first heard 3D printers were making guns I was surprised, I was even more shocked when I found out that they can also create houses, now I never thought that they would actually be able to create food for human consumption. The global population is growing at a rapid rate and if the agriculture industry can’t keep up maybe this is the next best option. Personally, I don’t think I would be comfortable eating food that was created by a 3D printer so if McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or any restaurant made food with a 3D printer I most likely would not eat it.

  • Hi Noah! Great post, this really makes me think of the first episode of Black Mirror, the futuristic show, when they get their food from a vending machine. He gets an apple from the machine and says it is probably the realest thing that you can eat, and even that was made from a petrie dish. As far as an answer to your question, I personally would not eat burgers from Wendy’s or McDonald’s if they were generated from a petrie dish. But then again, I do not eat burgers that they currently have… maybe this is where the future is headed, maybe this will be the norm, maybe our lives will turn into an episode of Black Mirror.

  • Hi Noah:
    Interesting post! I would like to try food come from 3D printers. I personally think it is a great idea. It can potentially decrease the amount of hunger of the world as well as decrease the harming of animals. It can also slow down global warming with the much less demand for “growing” meat (reason: Overall, I think it is a great idea and the world can benefit from it.

  • Noah, good post! I would definitely give artificially made plants and meats a try. Many of the ways we get those products today are done in dangerous ways whether its use of heavy pesticides for plants or mass production with many drugs used commonly in the meat industry. I already eat the food that is produced in those ways, so I would give this a try. I don’t see artificially created food as anything wrong, just a way that could help take a step to solving the food crisis dilemma that continues to grow.

  • Honestly speaking, I can’t imagine how artificial food will taste. But i know it might be the only solution for the food crisis. If human activities keep expanding, our environment will no longer sustain. It is really an issue that we need to consider. But back to the question, I might can’t accept artificial food if the day comes because I think it is not real natural food, but derive from technology. It will decrease my appetite if I know where the food comes from. I sincerely think, technology cannot take place of everything from our life, we still need to save ourselves. The thought of technology can solve any problems is not right, because if like that, our world will be artificial, humans can also be robots…

  • Hi Noah, I found this to be interesting as well. The potential value that this has to help fix major world hunger problems. This could revolutionize the way the world eats. However I feel like I would be a “late bloomer” to this type of invention. This is mainly because I would want to see the reaction of the majority of people that try it before I do. I am also fine with technology continue to innovate our lives especially by this method of making artificial objects, but I do feel like there needs to be a borderline in our society between whats real and artificial so that we do not lose what makes us human.

  • Hi Noah, I found this incredibly intriguing. I think that it will be an awesome step for everything going forward. Being able to create lab grown food can have a great impact on people and society being that we can, like you said, replace junk food that is manufactured with food created at a similar scale that is very healthy.

  • This problem with the increase of the global population is definitely something our society will need to tackle, and will most likely be solved with the use of technology. I would not se myself eating a burger that has been artificially made, however I think this problem will be solved in a different route. I believe that some sort of pill that a human would take to give all necessary nutrients is more likely for the masses, although this idea could be a more appealing offer to those who enjoy consuming their foods. It will be very interesting to see how world leaders try to tackle this issue.

  • Certainly the idea of “printed” food seems appalling at first. But as Noah points out in his original post, many junk foods that we all know and love are heavily processed and not much different than an artificially “printed” food item. I’m sure the adoption of such products would be slow at first but I can definitely see this becoming more prominent in the future.

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