Author Topic: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food  (Read 2608 times)

Offline michaelwy

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Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« on: 12/18/2013 05:15 PM »
There has been a lot of talk about 3-d printed food. However, in order to print food you need raw materials and how do you get this in space? Is it possible to get the raw material from grind-up insects that are farmed in space combined with grind-up algae? These two foods are the easiest to produce. Let's say that we have three or four types of insects and a similar number of types of algae. Combined with some flavoring from a spices grown in a green house, then you would perhaps get something edible. Is NASA experimenting with these kinds of food systems in order to create a 3-d printed algae/insect saugsage or burger?
This sounds pretty disgusting, i know, but you cannot afford to be picky in space.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2013 05:19 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline grondilu

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #1 on: 12/18/2013 05:56 PM »
This sounds pretty disgusting

Many insect meals can actually be very tasty.  It would be a huge success if insects could be farmed in space.   Yet I'm afraid it will be more difficult than one can suspect. I mean, you have to feed them with something else than algae.  This means that you'll have to grow plants anyway.   Basically you need to think about a whole closed ecosystem.

But since you bring up the subject of space food, have space agencies ever considered something like Soylent?
« Last Edit: 12/18/2013 07:00 PM by grondilu »
Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Offline michaelwy

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #2 on: 12/18/2013 06:06 PM »
If you have 4 types of algae, i'm sure that would be sufficient variety for some types of grasshoppers. Some grasshopper eat just one type of food and some eat anything. Then you get proteins from your grind up grasshoppers and fat from your algae. Some color and some spices and some creative shape, texture from your printer and voila a tasty space snack.
http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130912-soon-you-can-3d-print-health-food-at-home-with-algaerium-bioprinter.html
« Last Edit: 12/18/2013 06:07 PM by michaelwy »

Offline grondilu

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #3 on: 12/18/2013 06:15 PM »
If you have 4 types of algae, i'm sure that would be sufficient variety for some types of grasshoppers. Some grasshopper eat just one type of food and some eat anything. Then you get proteins from your grind up grasshoppers and fat from your algae. Some color and some spices and some creative shape, texture from your printer and voila a tasty space snack.
http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130912-soon-you-can-3d-print-health-food-at-home-with-algaerium-bioprinter.html

Could work, then.  Definitely something worth experimenting, anyway.
Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #4 on: 12/18/2013 06:46 PM »
...
But since you bring up the subject of space food, have space agencies ever considered something like Soylent?
Probably not, as it's too disgusting. Mixed with space sickness, it's not exactly a great idea...
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline cordwainer

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #5 on: 12/19/2013 08:12 AM »
It would be easy enough to just grow wheat grass and peanuts in space instead of algae and a lot more nutritious. Your grasshoppers would dine well enough on wheat grass and humans would to. Peanut butter by itself is nearly the perfect food with a little modification you can make a two month supply of Plumpy'nut for about $60.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #6 on: 12/19/2013 09:55 AM »
Although I normally roll my eyes at combining space and reality tv.. this is getting gross enough and cheap enough to probably appeal to someone.. :)

Offline grondilu

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #7 on: 12/19/2013 04:55 PM »
I remember reading a recent article about a lettuce-growing experiment  that is to be sent to ISS in the coming months or something.

IIRC, it was the first time NASA tries to grow edible plants in space.   I was surprised that this had not been tried before.  I mean, that's definitely the kind of thing you really need to try if you want to prove that space colonization is possible, isn't it?  Considering the failure of the biosphere projects, it seems to me that more conclusive evidence is needed in order to prove that a human being can sustain his life in a closed, artificial environment.

« Last Edit: 12/20/2013 01:55 AM by grondilu »
Space is pretty much literally an astronomically-high hanging fruit.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #8 on: 12/20/2013 03:45 AM »
A paternal uncle was a Navy UDT (pre-SEAL) and would take out the cousins on survival training campouts. He taught us living off the land, which included preparing and eating snakes, lizards, insects and grubs. Pan roasted grubs are very good - kind of nutty-sweet - and are really good with paprika, and so are grasshoppers. Thread a bunch on a stick (same with small lizards like anoles) and pan or oven roast. Send ISS a toaster oven ;)

Protein is protein.
« Last Edit: 12/20/2013 04:04 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline cordwainer

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Re: Insects, Algae and 3D printed food
« Reply #9 on: 12/20/2013 11:10 AM »
I'm pretty sure there have been plenty experiments for growing edible greens in space, before. They would be better off trying to grow kale and various spices and herbs though for nutritional purposes. I pretty sure carrots and other tubers have been grown in microgravity, if bromeliads like lettuce and tubers will then garlic would be an excellent crop to grow as since its and osteoporetic and antibiotic. What astronauts really need are medical superfoods that act as both nutrition, as well as additional medicinal supplements and treatments for the effects of microgravity.

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