August 16, 2012

3D Printed Burgers Soon on the Menu? Would You Try It?

Everybody loves a good hamburger. Part of the reason for that is that its a safe food. We all know where it comes from and how it was made. It’s hard to screw up a hamburger beyond undercooking it. Would you still eat a hamburger if it was made by a 3D printer?  

PayPal founder Peter Thiel thinks that 3D printed hamburgers are pretty neat, and he bets that you will too. That’s why he recently donated anywhere between £160,000 to £220,000 to Modern Meadow, a Missouri-based company that wants to make meat with 3D printers. So how exactly does this 3D meat printing work? Modern Meadow says that they can layer mixtures of cells via 3D printers and come out with a specific structure. In this case, the structure would be a hamburger, steak, or any other kind of meat. Their current goal is to print an edible piece of meat that’s less than a half a millimeter thick. The kicker here is that their meat wouldn’t be real meat, but just have the flavor and consistency. They hope that the food will appeal to vegetarians or religious folks whose doctrines forbid them from eating meat. They do foresee, however, that general consumers might be somewhat turned away by the idea even though 3D printed meat promises to be safer on the environment and your heart.  


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