Posts Tagged ‘space food’

I am currently reading one of the many delightful Colin Cotterill mysteries about Laos (Slash and Burn). Because the Laotian/American MIA search team seems always to be eating tasteless “astronaut food” provided by the Americans, this story at Andrew Sullivan’s blog the other day caught my attention.

Andrew points to Adam Mann, who writes at Wired, “Several decades from now, an astronaut in a Mars colony might feel a bit hungry. Rather than reach for a vacuum-sealed food packet or cook up some simple greenhouse vegetables in a tiny kitchen, the astronaut would visit a microwave-sized box, punch a few settings, and receive a delicious and nutritious meal tailored to his or her exact tastes. …

“With 3-D printers coming of age, engineers are starting to expand the possible list of materials they might work with. The early work in food has been in making desserts – a Japanese company lets you order your sweetheart a creepy chocolate 3-D model of their head – but some researchers are already thinking of what comes next. The Fab@Home team at Cornell University has developed gel-like substances called hydrocolloids that can be extruded and built up into different shapes. By mixing in flavoring agents, they can produce a range of tastes and textures.”

Don’t you love the word “extrude”? Well, maybe not. But I do because when my husband, my older grandson, and I were waiting for the baby sister to be born a couple weeks ago, we spent an inordinate amount of time extruding Play-Doh snakes from special Play-Doh extruders. (“Don’t be scared, Grandma. It’s not a real snake, Grandma.”)

Come to think of it, I might rather eat a Play-Doh snake than some of this astronaut food.

More from Wired.

More from Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

Photograph: Fab@Home
A deep-fried space shuttle scallop built using Cornell’s Fab@Home 3-D food printer, below.

Photograph: Feb@Home
A 3-D food printer building turkey paste into blocks, below.

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