Cue the protein printer: Peter Thiel invests in artificial meat

No dear, the printer isn’t out of toner. It’s out of blood

Sounds outlandish, but some day we may be making use of 3D printers to manufacture the most consumable of consumer goods: our food. Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs has just funneled $350,000 into Modern Meadow, a startup attempting to combine 3D printing with in-vitro meat cultivation. The end result would be a steak you can print out from biological materials.

Creepy? Yes, but it could be the direction the world is heading if the population keeps growing and our hunger for hamburgers, chicken tenders and pork chops doesn’t abate. On a per-capita consumption basis, the amount of arable land required to feed and raise livestock is much higher than that required to grow crops for the dinner table. If we want to keep meat in our diets but maintain a sustainable food supply we may well be sourcing our steaks from the lab (or the copy machine).

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user koya979