You’d think the engineers in Silicon Valley are not keen to eat. If not, what’s all this mania to investigate issues related to food? For some time to try to improve the quality of food and crops is a reality, but lately fever “Food 2.0” seems to have penetrated deep between technology entrepreneurs. We’re looking at various scenarios and especially proposals that are setting trends. Soylent – we’ll talk later in detail of it – or Ambronite represent the new way of maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. And boring, of course, add many. But as you can see, there’s a whole new world of food according to its creators is more efficient and healthy.
Series of NASA TV
The oldest of the place you will certainly recall any of these mythical futuristic series given in the food that today we posed by the ideologues of Silicon Valley was already in mind of those screenwriters and producers. Those capsules became great dishes pizza or chicken does not have much to do with what we see today, but it seemed to confirm a significant trend but less popular in those years: it was necessary to devise an alternative means of feeding missions space.
NASA was undoubtedly a major involved in the development of new forms of power for its astronauts. The space power, which saves a certain relationship with the food military MRE (Meal Ready to Eat ) progresses significantly in the last part of the last century.
The mission of Yuri Gagarin, the first man who made one orbit around the Earth, lasted only 108 minutes Gagarin did not have to eat for that trip. It was his fellow countryman Gherman Titov the first to eat food in space in August of 1961. The Americans will choose the pulse of the space race shortly after, and NASA began to use food dehydrated (0.58 kg per day and astronaut in the Gemini program). Then came the food bars of the Apollo program, although in the last three decades has become dehydrated food for astronauts add hot or cold water depending on the product.
The impact of these developments has not been too noticeable on our planet, but there are studies like this (PDF) to the contrary-but NASA has not wavered in its research, and a year ago we met its project for a 3D printer I was able to “print food” given a number of ingredients, which have seen live with projects like Foodini. NASA has also investigated the impact of climate change on the future of food production, and it is clear that this organism is particularly involved in this segment. The witness, however, have picked up the new entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley.
Food arrives 2.0
NASA has influenced or not, the fact is that new entrepreneurs in the food segment seem to be happy with the way we produce and consume food. One example is Hampton Creek Foods, a startup which among other things is developing an alternative to traditional egg hens but could occur without these animals.
The idea that a priori seems outlandish has a strong economic rationale. The CEO of the company, Josh Tetrick wants to revolutionize an industry that generates 60,000 million a year. Farm eggs need large amounts of water and make necessary 39 calories of energy for every calorie of food produced. Tetrick says they can get eggs based plants use much less water and need only 2 calories of energy. That would also avoid cholesterol, saturated fats, and problems with avian influenza or ill-treatment received by these hypothetical animals. The result is an egg that looks essentially identical to conventional, but in the first test has not satisfied within tastes and behavior at the time of making.
The substitutes of the eggs are only a part of the enormous market that is moving these meals alternatives. The company Modern Meadow tries to do the same with the generation of artificial or synthetic meat, and so does Solazyme (fat and protein from algae), Unreal Foods (goodies “healthier”), Beyond Meat (chicken substitute vegetal) and, of course, the aforementioned Soylent or Ambronite looking to replace a conventional diet drinks that theoretically provide everything you need for day to day.
All of them, of course, generate initial rejection. It also happened with the famous first burger created in the laboratory, which was established with the financial support of Google co-founder Sergey Brin and the company Cultured Beef tried to defend as a solution to the problem of growing demand for food in the world.
The truth is that the problem is there: humans increasingly populate our planet, and there is less food for them all. In a 2011 study at the University of Oxford showed that synthetic meat need only 1% of the land and 4% of the water needed to be produced in relation to current methods. Also you have environmental benefits such as reducing by 96% the production of greenhouse gases and energy consumption 45% less than the conventional media.
2.0 That food is reaching all areas today, and another notable example is CafeinAll, a type of substance that is sprinkled on food or drink and brings that energy theoretical dose normally by people consume coffee or drinks energy. The company responsible for this creation is launching a campaign on IndieGoGo to try to validate another unique project in this section.
The twist in this new trend is clear: until recently the processes to improve our diets were based on crop improvement and production of all kinds of food. As indicated in Fastco, technology that helped this development has also created problems. The synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is made from petroleum and risks to the environment, with problems such as nitrous oxide – are worrying many critics.