12 October 2009

Synthetic Food ~ Fueling the Need to Feed...

The BBC today asserts Food production 'must rise 70%' to save us from mass-starvation by 2050. I've written before about the emergent Global Food Crisis. And a lot about food-related things, including city farms & robogardeners, sky farms, urban share-farms, agri-history, tuna harvests, ocean ranching, emerging market agri-innovations, even Meeting Your Meat, and more. But ever since seeing Star Trek Replicators pump out chow on-demand......I've known-imagined this as a potential alternative. Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age envisions MC's -- Matter Compilers -- playing this role, cranking out synthetic snacks as needed. But what will it take to invent such solutions? I've written about In Vitro Meats, which I think is a step in the synthetic direction, but there's much more to be done to have a full menu of proteins, carbs, vitamins, and caloric goodness generally, all synth'd by 'bot. But if successful, such a system would mean Food = Energy (plus component raw material) and that radically changes the Doomsayer argument away from one of agricultural land and productivity to one of energy sourcing and pricing.

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