Tea, Early Grey, Hot: 3D Printing of Food

Could the future of food be 3D printing?  No doubt you’ve seen 3D printed chocolates and other novelties, but what about complete dishes like the replicators in Star Trek created?  You may remember Captain Picard’s iconic, “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” replicator order from Star Trek, but did you know both NASA and the military are actually working on similar technology?  If you’re like me it turns your stomach in knots a bit to learn of all the food that is wasted or thrown out in the industrialized world.  Imagine a world where everything was made to order and on demand to minimize waste.  Now imagine that it perhaps isn’t made from plants or animals at all, but that the proteins, fats, sugars and starches are constructed at the molecular level.  This is the promise of 3D printed food that some believe could end world hunger. Let’s hope this is the case and as an added benefit vegetarians may be able to enjoy a guilt-free steak too!   I’d argue you’re starting to see minor forms of this already like the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines that use tiny flavor cartridges to mix and match and make hundreds of beverages.  Let’s just hope too much choice doesn’t lead to issues like in the video above.

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