Artificial Food


James Adrian

      Since the Miller–Urey experiment was conducted in 1953, very many (if not all) of the molecules we need to ingest have been synthesized; and many have been mass produced as food additives.

      Our nutrition (as distinct from drugs) is comprised of lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, water, and dietary fiber. Amino acids are obtained by digesting proteins. The published knowledge of food chemistry enables us to manufacture food instead of growing it. This brings more opportunity than risk.

      Many people are understandably concerned by the genetic modification of plants used for food. The synthesis of food from common molecules is an entirely different activity. It does not involve living things or their genes. It involves substances extracted from lake water, sea water, soil, and rock. Whether or not there is any risk of unintended consequences from the genetic engineering of plants, such risks are not produced by the food synthesis paradigm.

      What about the acceptance of artificial food? Many people are dead-set against eating anything that is not naturally grown. I believe that feelings on this subject will change. We have always improved our lot through artifacts. We have used artificial clothing for so long that we now have less body hair than we once did. Our shelter is no longer caves. We still use our legs for transportation, but we benefit greatly from our artificial tools of transport. The captain of a ship can yell only so loud. The solution came to us as artificial audio. Examples abound; but there is a more compelling reason to believe in the acceptance of artificial food: When an innovation offers dramatically lower cost together with the absence of disadvantages, 90% or more of the population eventually accept it .

      The soil that is used to grow land plants, and the seawater that feeds the food chain in the ocean, are supplied with every element that falls from from space. All but 27 of these (28 if you include fluorine) do us no good. This means that our organs and our blood contain many toxins as seen here. Customizing diets is still very difficult. Artificial food will enhance the health of the population. In space, it will be considered a biological safety factor.


      Please feel free to write to me directly for more information or to make suggestions or comments. My email address is jim@futurebeacon.com. You can also go to my contact page to get my full contact information. Suggestions, questions, additional information and critiques are very welcome.