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
. 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
. You can also go to
my contact page
my full contact information. Suggestions, questions, additional information and critiques are very welcome.