Pages

June 21, 2006

Other tech: Test tube meat eventually could be $1 per pound

Work is progressing to determine the factors that will enable large quantities of meat to be grown in a bioreactor. Scientists routinely grow small quantities of muscle cells in petri dishes for experiments. Currently the cost of producing one pound of in vitro meat runs anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. The cost could be brought down to about $1 per pound by using nutrients from plant or fungal sources and scaling processes to an industrial level.

If successful, artificially grown meat could be tailored to be far healthier than any type of farm-grown meat. It's possible to stuff if full of heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, adjust the protein or texture to suit individual taste preferences and screen it for food-borne diseases.

Doctoral student Jason Matheny notes "Cultured meat isn't natural, but neither is yogurt"

A real life approximation of CHON food factories is about 5-10 years away. In the science fiction book, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederick Pohl, there are efficient space based factories for turning carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen into food.

NOTE: Progress is being made differenting stem cells into blood vessels. This would allow for test tube that is closer to the real thing by adding in blood vessels and other tissue

Success here would bring item five on the list of five inventions that we still need far closer to reality. The ability to convert raw material directly into food. Factories for meat, plants (hydroponics), yogurt etc...

Other transitional future food technology:
Ocean fish farming
NOTE: all different kinds of meat should be produceable in the bioreactors including fish meat. Different stem cells would need to be used.

0 comments: