The world is entering into a time where we’re starting to see a lot of systems collapse, especially the ecosystem. Scientists believe that the West’s demand for meat and dairy products is putting a massive toll on the environment, and the search is now on to find a substitute that can both meet demand and cut down on our dependence on animals for food.
The answer may lie in 3D printing, a technology that has enormous, history-changing potential that could provide solutions to many of the world’s most dire problems. At its core, a 3D printer is a device that can create objects in 3 dimensions, meaning that the items it creates are something we can touch and use. We can print anything imaginable, but researchers and engineers are confident that we could use 3D printers to solve many of the food problems in the world, and may even extend to other areas, such as the mechanical industry, and even in something more obscure like NRL premiership odds, where we could print out our own 3D betting slips.
What is 3D Printed Food?
3D printed food is the same as any conventional foods, except that the processes to make the food are radically different. Where conventional food must be acquired through farming and agriculture, and then processed into something that can be cooked or eaten straight. It’s a long and resource-intensive process that is causing untold problems. 3D printed food, on the other hand, substitutes the long process with a much shorter one, allowing the user to simply have the food item of their choice printed in front of them.
The Advantages of 3D Printed Food
There are two main benefits to 3D printed food. The first is that it’s extremely cheap to make in comparison to the methods that we make use of today. A steak, for example, can be printed by a 3D printer using a cluster of cells as the “ink”. This also means that the food printed is devoid of many of the chemicals and the antibiotics that become part of the food process, which inevitably found their way into our bodies.
Secondly, using a 3D printer gives a wide variety of choices when it comes to texture and shape. Where a conventional food would otherwise be impossible to create by hand due to the shape, the 3D printer would be able to create it from the inside out.
3D Printed Food vs. Normal Food
Scientists have already printed quite a lot of different foods, but the most emphasis has been put on creating a burger patty that mimics the ones we can purchase at the local grocery. And the results so far have been extremely positive, with many testers saying that they couldn’t tell the difference between a bought patty and a printed patty.
Ultimately, we could see a new era of food creation uttered in that provides enough for everyone while also reducing the damage to the environment.