Home-cooked meals are supposed to be special. They’re also supposed to be organic, free-range, cruelty-free, gourmet meals custom-made to suit your desires – because everyone’s picky. And why not? 3D Printing both the food and the preparation tools might just make that easier. Or sillier. We think we can have both. Remember the Burritobot? Printing food isn’t really feasible at the present moment, but that hasn’t stopped Google and Paypal billionaire Peter Thiel from trying.
Extruding Pasta, but Not the Way You Expected
Bernard Faucher is a cook who works for Google, and Google being Google, he has a top-of-the-line kitchen to prepare anything that employees want. In a TV interview (the video has been blocked, sadly) he mentioned off-hand that he has a 3D Printer in Google’s Cafeteria to prepare special types of pasta. “Pasta?”, the interviewer asks, incredulous. “Pasta.” Faucher replies. From what I gather, I believe that the printer creates the extruder head for the pasta maker – he isn’t specific.
In my search for 3D printed Pasta extruders, I came across the Fabaroni, an MIT project from their famed “How to Make (almost) Anything” Class, taught by none other than the fabulous Fab Sensei Neil Gershenfeld. It’s not clear which way they’re cooking CAD at Google. But Faucher revealed another weird tidbit: Google receives multiple whole pigs everyday for the Googlers to feast upon. Coding and drawing those homepage doodles – it’s all bacon powered.
There are now Two Ways to Fillet that Steak
Not one to be left out, Peter Thiel dropped $350,000 into a start-up that is developing 3D printed meats. Bioprinting, as it is called, offers a way for you to eat all that delicious red meat without the indigestion of a guilt-ridden conscious. It’s analogous to 3D printing organs – layer by layer, you deposit cellular material in a selective manner. This is what Time Magazine had to say.
Researchers’ first step is to “fabricate 3D cellular sheets composed of porcine cells” — henceforth to be known as the other, other, other white meat — and mature those sheets into muscle tissue with electrical stimulation inside of a bioreactor.
Gross. Then again – look at the meat industry as it is now. This sort of ‘meat’ seems to me like a vast improvement over putting Betsy through the rigors of factory farming and the abattoir. Even if we seem to be getting a little too close to ‘Soyalent Steak” for my liking (Soylent Steak is Printed! 3D PRINTED!) I’m more than curious to see how its going to be marketed – I can’t believe its not Steak?