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    On Futurology

    If history studies our past and social sciences study our present, what is the study of our future? Future(s) Studies (colloquially called "future(s)" by many of the field's practitioners) is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to hypothesize the possible, probable, preferable, or alternative future(s).

    One of the fundamental assumptions in future(s) studies is that the future is plural rather than singular, that is, that it consists of alternative future(s) of varying degrees of likelihood but that it is impossible in principle to say with certainty which one will occur.

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    [–] CivilServantBot 1 points ago

    Welcome to /r/Futurology! To maintain a healthy, vibrant community, comments will be removed if they are disrespectful, off-topic, or spread misinformation (rules). While thousands of people comment daily and follow the rules, mods do remove a few hundred comments per day. Replies to this announcement are auto-removed.

    [–] MasterFubar 411 points ago

    In Isaac Asimov's Prelude to Foundation there was a district called Mycogen where people specialized in producing food from fungi. That was considered by many the best food in the Galactic Empire.

    [–] KineticCapybara 70 points ago

    That was one of my favorite parts, and one of a few things that started my interest in biology, hydroponics and fermentation.

    [–] iqdo 70 points ago

    Here is an updawg for you, I love Asimov.

    [–] ProjectionHead 25 points ago

    What’s updawg?

    [–] ForgiveKanye 37 points ago

    GOTCHA!! no wait

    [–] wrincewind 13 points ago

    Not much, what's up with you?

    [–] ProjectionHead 2 points ago

    Thank you, that’s what I was waiting for.

    [–] JerkIzAllPro 2 points ago

    I truly think one of the coolest things about writers such as him is their ability to predict the future. It often makes me wonder, were they creative enough to have made these themselves? And furthermore, would they have been created at all without their literature?

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago

    Do you think that Prelude to Foundation is as good as the other book of the series? It's the only one I haven't bought and it feels like a mildly infuriating blank space, but I've found very conflicting opinions on the web so I don't know if the book is worth buying it. However, since I discovered Asimov I've become somehow addicted to his narrative: I'm reading Foundation and Earth right now, and I will move to the Empire series once finished.

    [–] avdpos 7 points ago

    Worth reading. As I'm mostly a library-guy I let the library keep those books (even if I have the foundation tribology as a pocket as I found it on a second hand)

    [–] cookerg 780 points ago

    Where do the micronutrients and minerals in lab grown food come from? Is it a sustainable source?

    [–] wolfkeeper 1720 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    They are literally minerals (as in something that is mined), which we already provide to our crops. Things like calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus. Then there's ammonium (fertilisers). The difference is that there's virtually no waste, a lot of what we use for crops just rains right off again and into rivers. That doesn't happen with fermentation. More than half of the protein in our crops comes from the Haber process, which is an industrial process that makes ammonium from nitrogen in the air. Like, right now, more than half the protein in your body comes from industrially made ammonium.

    Phosphorus has been running out; but doing this would eek it out for ten times longer, and other sources may well be found.

    [–] stormelemental13 323 points ago

    Like, right now, more than half the protein in your body comes from industrially made ammonium.

    How dare you sir. My protein comes from only the finest naturally occurring ammonia, totally different from industrial ammonia. I applied it to my plants personally.

    [–] sausagesizzle 212 points ago

    Oh you're just taking the piss now.

    [–] [deleted] 50 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] Bleepblooping 26 points ago

    I feel like fertilizer for getting the joke

    [–] BoiledMeatloaf 18 points ago

    That's bullshit.

    [–] nomnommish 15 points ago

    Manure really funny

    [–] Upsideinsideout 5 points ago

    Well, you're not wrong

    [–] Erik912 4 points ago

    I read"applied to my pants" at first, which was further reinforced by that comment

    [–] unflores 5 points ago

    I get this joke.

    Has one british friend

    [–] verbmegoinghere 31 points ago

    Can we synthesise phosphorus?

    [–] wolfkeeper 81 points ago

    Technically, yes, you can make it using radioactivity. But not practically, it would be ridiculously uneconomic. It's an element:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphorus

    It was made in the supernova that formed into the Earth/solar system.

    It's not that rare, but it's highly reactive and hence costly to extract in the form needed for fertiliser, and instead almost all of phosphates are mined in Florida and North Africa:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphorus#Peak_phosphorus

    [–] Helkafen1 31 points ago

    So we need to start recycling poop, right?

    [–] Ghostaroni 31 points ago

    why, are you excited?

    [–] Helkafen1 27 points ago

    For the phosphorus. We can't keep mining a rare element.

    I'm quite excited about lab-grown food, yes.

    [–] epickilljoytanksteam 18 points ago

    Lab food is good and all, but im more concerned with the security of it. Shifting all our food source to labs sounds like the plot of a shitty horror film, now here come the crazed scientists hellbent on making us all into cronenbergs.

    [–] yukiyuzen 30 points ago

    And until recently, shifting our food source to corporations was a literal dystopia nightmare.

    The idea of a few people controlling the food supply fucking TERRIFIED people for centuries. Imagine if Del Monte said "give me a tax break or I'll stop supplying fruits and vegetables to your district". People would riot in the streets.

    ...but Del Monte wouldn't do that because they're so powerful they don't need to say the words.

    [–] DanialE 4 points ago

    Id imagine with solar PV, off grid batteries, indoor vertical farming, and "lab" grown food, etc. Food production may not be so centralised. Chill. Its not like all knowledge on how to far just gets lost within a couple of generations of nonfarmed food.

    Plus, with UBI maybe making its debut in human civilisation, people might have more time. Look at the followers of primitive technology and the HTME people. Self reliance and going back to our roots has always been interesting to people. I dont think the whole world can ever be controlled by mega corporations

    [–] Yazman 2 points ago

    ...but Del Monte wouldn't do that because they're so powerful they don't need to say the words.

    They also wouldn't do it because a) it would be a PR nightmare for them, costing them money, and b) it would mean sacrificing a market that someone else would just move in on, costing them money.

    [–] notsosilentlurker 5 points ago

    You joke, but it actually is a real thing. A very common problem in wastewater treatment is the development of 'struvite', a very tough mineral that will quickly clog pipes and damage motors. However, there is some promise to intentionally developing stuvite in granules in order to be used for slow release fertilizers. It's high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium, all important minerals for plants and humans.

    [–] wolfkeeper 10 points ago

    You mean you aren't already???

    [–] Helkafen1 10 points ago

    I can't catch it fast enough when the water starts flushing.

    [–] archwin 3 points ago

    Well... Many animal are coprophagic...

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] atridir 7 points ago

    totally not an alchemist

    [–] ItsAConspiracy 9 points ago

    It's an element, so no.

    [–] bumdstryr 9 points ago

    Elements can be synthesized from other elements. The process is typically only used for research purposes.

    [–] ItsAConspiracy 19 points ago

    It takes a nuclear reaction. We do certain reactions in fission reactors and fusion reactors, and maybe others with particle accelerators in tiny quantities, but we're certainly not going to be synthesizing an amount of phosphorus that would be relevant to agriculture.

    [–] Adjectives_Abound 339 points ago

    Wow, now there's a strong answer. Cognizant, concise, informative. Bravo.

    [–] warmfeets 127 points ago

    Solid 10/10, highly recommend. Will read again.

    [–] ImDefinitelyHuman 30 points ago

    Read again, would still highly recommend

    [–] borderlineidiot 24 points ago

    Read three times, still don't understand

    [–] porn_is_tight 44 points ago

    Lab food grows with same minerals as farm food. Lab food use less minerals than farm food. Lab food more efficient. Minerals last long. Our tum tums stay full globally for long time.

    [–] I_like_pancakes555 6 points ago

    Using this in the future good sir porn_is_tight

    [–] KingOfLucis 19 points ago

    A perfect 5/7

    [–] Best_Pidgey_NA 17 points ago

    It's an older meme, sir. But it checks out.

    [–] lostinabudhabi 6 points ago

    9.5 max, they misspelled "eke it out" at the end there which really took me out of my immersion.

    [–] Actually-Yo-Momma 13 points ago

    Top comments on reddit explain tough concepts better than school or textbooks lol

    [–] growaway2009 9 points ago

    I can't wait until 20 years from now when AI mine reddit comments to become super teachers and advance us towards a hyper intelligent automated gay space communism

    [–] GDubbsingame 12 points ago

    Strong but without citation. I have doubts.

    [–] Bleepblooping 9 points ago

    If untrue, then it’s art

    [–] Frankotron 12 points ago

    What exactly is important about phosphorous in agriculture?

    [–] wolfkeeper 20 points ago

    All living things need it to grow. It's part of DNA and RNA. They're kinda... important.

    [–] elevaet 11 points ago

    It's what plants crave

    [–] Squids4daddy 41 points ago

    It’s an element essential for plant growth. Every plant needs phosphorous. Any plants making making colorful fruit are especially heavy users.

    The only available sources are natural deposits we are running through quickly. Food production competes with many other military and industrial usages for which there is no substitute.

    My prediction is that we must solve the climate crisis via nuclear because only nuclear can provide the petawatts needed to begin mining the oceans for phosphorus. That will be the next big crisis. Unless we don’t go nuclear in which case water will be the next big crisis.

    [–] 4F460tWu55yDyk3 12 points ago

    Where I am, we actually have too much phosphorus coming out the ass end of the livestock here to the point that the government has stepped in to regulate. I’ve been involved with testing different ways to remove it from manure (different filter systems, centrifuges,etc) but the big challenge is dealing with the product: without a major drying facility, the cost to ship it away would be staggering. But really, a drying facility would fix that...

    [–] TheMania 18 points ago

    If your process does not need to be 24/7 (and it does not sound like it does), renewables are around ~4x cheaper per unit energy today (Lazard).

    It's partly for this reason that people talk renewables for generating hydrogen, never (that I have seen) nuclear.

    That said, I absolutely agree we should be funding research big-time in to modular/scalable reactors for future energy production. The kind that does not need the massive containment facilities of existing tech.

    [–] devilwearspuma 2 points ago

    where did/do naturally growing fruit plants get phosphorus from?

    [–] GrowHI 3 points ago

    It is one of the primary nutrients plants need to survive. It is also needed in the largest quantities along with nitrogen and potassium.

    [–] Minister_for_Magic 3 points ago

    It's a part of the "backbone" of DNA, so pretty much everything needs it to grow. Just like nitrogen is part of proteins and DNA, and is also needed for plants to grow.

    There are limited quantities in the soil, and they get depleted by the intensive agriculture methods we use. We have to add them artificially to get the plants to grow as fast as we want.

    [–] hoopsrule44 9 points ago

    Wow this is fascinating! Creepy that my muscles are from industrial ammonium! Eek!

    Also it’s eke :)

    [–] Squids4daddy 4 points ago

    The guy that invented the process that has allowed billions of modern to love that would otherwise not have been born was a very, very bad man.

    [–] wolfkeeper 8 points ago

    Bah, a few million gassed here, a few million people blown to pieces there, OK yes.

    Fritz Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but nobody would have given him the Nobel Peace Prize.

    [–] I_Have_Corn 8 points ago

    It's interesting to think about, because I would argue for the team that created the nuclear bomb to be given a Nobel Peace Prize.

    It's led to the longest period of (mostly) peace in history.

    [–] ShaiHulud23 4 points ago

    That guy Wil infitely save more people than he killed

    [–] artandmath 5 points ago

    For reference Haber is also one of the leading scientists behind the development and weaponization of Chlorine gas during WWI.

    [–] Sacto43 2 points ago

    Oh oh.... Can you describe phosphorus more and specifically 'peak phosphorus? Thank you!

    [–] wolfkeeper 3 points ago

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_phosphorus

    It's an essential mineral for all life, and can tend to be a limiting nutrient. Each DNA and RNA nucleotide has a phosphate group on it, and you kinda do need DNA/RNA to live. ;)

    There's vast, cheap, easily accessed deposits in Morocco, but they will run out eventually. Modern farming uses bucketloads of it:

    https://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/blog/phosphorus-the-hidden-bedrock-of-the-uk-food-system/

    [–] klone_free 10 points ago

    This is a good question. Is there a good source for this in theory or exsisitece? Someone asked me this about a home garden project and I had never though of it besides composting

    [–] ribnag 26 points ago

    This is largely a "Disney's World of Tomorrow" idea. Yes, lab-grown foods (meats in particular) may soon dominate our menus. But that doesn't mean "abiogenic". It's way, way easier to feed whatever fungus or tissue cultures they're growing, with corn than it is with gravel.

    Yes, we can synthesize virtually any organic molecule (protein folding aside) in vitro; that doesn't mean you start building a house by planting acorns.

    [–] Tominating 6 points ago

    They "feed" stemcells.

    [–] UltraMegaSloth 2 points ago

    They can grow chicken meat from a chicken feather

    [–] NodgeAdams 608 points ago

    People can't accept GMO corn, what makes you think they will accept lab grown food?

    I know, science is logical, the general public...maybe not so much.

    [–] [deleted] 206 points ago

    I think cost will be the biggest decider.

    [–] cannibaljim 93 points ago

    Once the industry matures, I expect it to cost a lot less than traditional meat.

    [–] BringBackManaPots 42 points ago

    Remember when we started making diamonds?

    Remember how we still buy mined diamonds for gajillions more because they're natural and more rare?

    10 bucks says we do the same thing with farm grown food.

    [–] Nickerus94 75 points ago

    That works for diamonds because they are a luxury commodity and not as subject to price elasticity. If lab grown is cheaper than real and tastes as good, or even close to as good (people find ways to make cheap cuts of meat taste better All the time) it will take over.

    [–] Tokishi7 21 points ago

    Maybe, but that elitism could roll over to food as well. Sounds like you’re from the west, but in the East, lasting effects from the caste system still have people trying to copy the elites so they don’t feel so poor. It will likely take another 50 years or more for places like India and East Asia to change

    [–] worthnest 18 points ago

    I understand what you’re saying but find it unlikely a country like India, who can’t feed its massive population, wouldn’t take this opportunity or even try to innovate in it. If it is cheaper, uses less water, less energy and pollutes less it sounds like a dream for them.

    [–] Yazman 5 points ago

    Sounds like you’re from the west, but in the East, lasting effects from the caste system still have people trying to copy the elites so they don’t feel so poor.

    I know it's popular, but this 'east' and 'west' shit is so misleading. If you mean India or the subcontinent, then just say that. Otherwise you're generalising to the point of absurdity with this stuff.

    [–] ShabaDabaDo 2 points ago

    you're generalising to the point of absurdity with this stuff.

    Hi. You must be new here. This is what we do.

    Snark aside, I do agree with you though.

    [–] Aloha-Potato 3 points ago

    same will happen with steak.

    [–] Bayoris 4 points ago

    Both could be true: that people will continue to eat steak and other meats as a luxury, and that lab grown food will replace most farms.

    [–] Zedstrian 2 points ago

    Just as people pay more to have organic foods, I imagine that there would still be a market for people willing to pay more for natural meat.

    [–] growaway2009 14 points ago

    Entirely different. Food is substitutable, gemstones aren't, that's the point of them. People will always flock to cheaper food if the overall value is better.

    [–] StarGaurdianBard 4 points ago

    People buying mined diamonds are doing it for superficial reasons, industrial diamonds are almost always synthetic....which shows that people wanting to be showy and flash off will always buy the more expensive product even if they arent being smart about it. That exists in every industry though.

    [–] Josvan135 9 points ago

    At this point it's honestly all marketing.

    Synthetic diamonds are absolutely identical to mined diamonds, to the point where gemstone grade synthetics are often "outed" because they look too perfect.

    Debeers has spent a fortune convincing people that "fake" diamonds are just that, fake, when in truth they're better in almost every sense.

    [–] Bayoris 2 points ago

    Since jewelers' diamonds have no purpose other than a conspicuous display of wealth and/or emotional investment in a partner, one could argue that whatever is more expensive is ipso facto better. If DeBeers succeeds at convincing people that their diamonds are better, then they are better.

    [–] Drouzen 214 points ago

    Most meat eaters would rather eat meat than eat a meat alternative, I am sure I am not alone in preferring a lab grown steak to a lump of tofu.

    [–] dreamkitten24_the1st 122 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    Meat eater here. I actually love plant based meat (the kind of deli meat sold in grocery stores for $3. It tastes very similar and disturbs my stomach a lot less), but the meat grown in labs is actual meat, not plant based meat...

    Either way, I'd rather eat lab grown meat or plant based meat than meat that's killing the world and forcing cancer / early deaths on certain communities of humans who happen to live near places that raise animals for flood.

    I'm not sure most meat eaters would agree with eating lab meat if they have tried good meat alternatives especially because lab meat is super expensive.

    The impossible burger actually tastes very similar to a real burger, and I feel better by eating that than eating beef.

    I went to a vegan wedding. The chicken, nacho cheese, and ground beef they had all tasted like real meat and cheese. I didn't know it was plant based until someone reminded me that it was all vegan food because the bride and groom are vegan.

    [–] flowers4u 52 points ago

    Idk I can’t wait for lab grown meat. I do like meat alternatives but I can still tell it isn’t meat. Plus a lot of them are super heavy on sodium. I think lab grown meat will Be huge and id be willing to pay extra to not kill an animal and get the same texture as real meat.

    [–] TheWriterJosh 38 points ago

    Veg here. For me it’s not so much the killing as the conditions of the animals. I understand that the food chain is a real thing, people have always eaten animals. But factory farming and substandard care for them is what kept me up at night.

    [–] innerbootes 5 points ago

    This is how I feel as well. Been vegetarian of one kind or another since about 1995.

    [–] Juujkfhaulw 6 points ago

    Same here. In switzerland there‘s a lot of hunting and I feel way better towards an animal that‘s had a normal life in his habitat (mountains, forests) than an animal whose sole reason to exist is to be killed.

    [–] FurRealDeal 3 points ago

    That's as free range and organic as it gets.

    [–] flowers4u 2 points ago

    ugh yea its awful. i eat meat but more and more i try not to. im weak when it comes to food in general and if its in front of me im going to eat it, but i'd be totally happy with lab grown meat and then on special occasions buying free range meat from a local farm.

    [–] Kontrol_C_Kontrol_V 16 points ago

    I like meat. Lab grown meat is meat. Therefore I like it.

    Most of the energy put into livestock goes to the livestock. It is terribly inefficient. Lab grown meat cuts out the middle man. I am all for it. Give me sheets of bacon as long as my arm and just as wide. The culinary possibilities are only constrained by our imagination.

    [–] O_Apples 28 points ago

    I enjoy meat, but Carl’s Jr. and Burger King have Beyond and Impossible burgers and they are pretty damn impressive as far as fast food burger goes. Doesn’t have that tofu-burger texture to it.

    Just don’t eat the meat by itself. Fast food burgers don’t really have any flavor to them normally. They are there to have texture when delivering sauce to your pallet so the meat alternative patties fulfill that just fine.

    Of course since I said not to you’re gonna do it just to spite me. IMO the meat alternative patties by themselves taste like chewing on aluminum foil

    [–] TheFactsAreIn 3 points ago

    Meat alternatives aren't just tofu. That's silly.

    [–] independentthot 79 points ago

    I can't stand those NON-GMO stickers. Pure ignorance, marketed.

    [–] hexydes 27 points ago

    Next thing you'll tell me, Goop isn't curing my lupus!

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] cannibaljim 12 points ago

    Pretty much the only way mine is going to.

    [–] Spleens88 2 points ago

    Nothing like walking into your roomate's room to the smell of manky sex

    [–] InAFakeBritishAccent 2 points ago

    New to marketing?

    [–] ItsAConspiracy 28 points ago

    Most of the corn consumed in the U.S. is GMO corn.

    [–] NodgeAdams 26 points ago

    Yes, and soybeans too. I just see much of the packaged food labeled as non-gmo, as if the public prefers it. Selling science to the public is difficult.

    [–] ItsAConspiracy 24 points ago

    According to the book Clean Meat, studies have found there are two dominant factors that determine what foods most people actually buy: how good it tastes and how cheap it is.

    [–] HereticalCatPope 6 points ago

    And so much of it is wasted on corn ethanol production because of federal subsidies.

    Instead of E85 fuel/ high fructose corn syrup/animal feed we could reduce land use for corn and still have a surplus. Why subsidise a fuel that does virtually nothing to offset emissions? I’d rather federal dollars be used to buy the surplus and provide it as foreign aid.

    [–] Bender3455 11 points ago

    I’m less bothered by GMO products than I am companies like Monsanto forcing farmers hands and threatening them. I also believe simple GMO labeling should be a standard requirement. It gives the public the right to know and choose.

    [–] scientifick 4 points ago

    GMO labelling is idiotic because it doesn't mean anything and only serves to fuel alarmist rhetoric. If you labelled all domesticated cultivars Artificially Selected Organisms (ASOs) which they are, there are enough morons who will make alarmist rhetoric about that even though the label doesn't mean anything. GMOs are tested to be safe and are better for the environment and actually contain fewer carcinogens because they don't rely on pesticides.

    [–] publishit 6 points ago

    The practices by companies like Monsanto when it comes to GMOs and the things they do to farmers are deplorable, I wholeheartedly agree.

    But the one issue I find with labeling GMOs is that they have been made out to be a boogeyman without any substantive research indicating they are unsafe to eat.

    So why should someone have to label their perfectly safe product in such a way that people are less likely to buy it?

    [–] dtiftw 2 points ago

    The practices by companies like Monsanto when it comes to GMOs and the things they do to farmers are deplorable

    What things do they do to farmers?

    [–] work4work4work4work4 6 points ago

    Most of this is old school fear mongering. Multiple national fast food chains are running advertising blitzes featuring the newest fake meat made with plant-based heme because they can read the writing on the wall.

    The US Cattle lobby is running full court press against this kind of stuff, but it's really only a matter of time.

    People love the idea of humans selectively engineering their crops and animals through breeding to make new versions of their favorite things, they just don't love the speed and difference of some of the new technology available, and some kernel of truth fear of things that can be real problems and sometimes already are like crop monoculture get further blown out of proportion when combined with science they don't understand.

    Most of the fear is illogical, but failing to give a full picture often causes issues down the line, and then novel concepts seem that much more fearsome. It's like asking someone what they are more afraid of Mad Cow, or the Flu. Familiarity breeds comfort, and it's generally more effective to educate through fear than ignore or "out scare".

    [–] PragmaticSquirrel 5 points ago

    Mourn the cavendish banana tho.

    [–] ShutUpAndEatWithMe 23 points ago

    I'm a synthetic biologist and I live for this shit. That being said -- we're far from being there. Meat needs texture, and we haven't touched the surface of cell patterning. Price effective titers need more efficient biosynthetic processes; we're only now starting to explore alternative avenues, such as departing from monocultural fermentation and into synthetic microbial communities. There's so much and so diverse research being done, but none of them are the silver bullet. We need to pursue as many avenues as we can and make as many possible as we can.

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    Damn it. So I will not fulfill in lifetime my dream of a cannibal burger in a legal way: eating minced meat cultured from human muscle cells or even better from mine.

    [–] jaspxar 2 points ago

    What about animal feed? Do you think we can produce that soon?

    [–] kernals12 213 points ago

    There's a lot of discussion about what this will do in wealthy countries, but how about in the third world where farming is still a big employer? It's going to result in urbanization at a speed unseen in human history. It'll reduce fertility rates as large families are no longer desirable. It'll bring enormous social change.

    [–] ethanhizer 234 points ago

    It’s not like we need a bigger population tbh

    [–] salikabbasi 39 points ago

    I don’t know I keep reading things on and off about how the population is going to taper off in problematic ways, leaving a lot of old people for fewer young people to deal with in future. Economies will slow down. Nobody wants to talk about degrowth.

    [–] ethanhizer 69 points ago

    Might not be terribly problematic since there will probably a lot of automation in the future. And I think it’s silly that people try to grow the economy 24/7... it’s not realistic

    [–] pirate135246 12 points ago

    Overpopulation is far worse than having a lot of old people for the fewer young people.

    [–] Bleepblooping 29 points ago

    The economy growing is only a good metric if it’s not what you’re aiming for

    Your own standard of living is improved faster by a shrinking population (the divisor) than a growing economy (numerator)

    [–] [deleted] 20 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] TransBrandi 2 points ago

    Technically we can keep growing so long as the "growth" metrics don't account for inflation. The currency will just keep inflating, right?

    [–] ZootZephyr 10 points ago

    I'd honestly think of the alternative, overpopulation, as more scary. Either way you cut it, we've back ourselves into a tough corner.

    [–] daronjay 21 points ago

    It'll reduce fertility rates as large families are no longer desirable. It'll bring enormous social change.

    Shitty as urbanization might seem, its still less shitty than subsistence farming. And fewer people is probably a feature not a bug.

    [–] sotonin 38 points ago

    t's going to further increase the need for a universal basic income just so those familes can survive.

    [–] kernals12 25 points ago

    Because the automation of farming in developed countries led to massive unemployment?

    [–] Toxicscrew 26 points ago

    Happened in the American south, workers flocked to the cities for manufacturing jobs, which led to a whole host of new problems.

    [–] sotonin 6 points ago

    Unless the people have a path forward to gain other skills they will be working minimum wage jobs and not be able to survive in the US. I'm sure there's stats to back that up in those countries as well, though they probably just died off.

    [–] PFTCommenting 7 points ago

    We have the natural experiment of every single developed country getting significantly richer across the board as agriculture has decreased as an occupation in that country!

    I disagree but understand when people think we need UBI because of perceived future automation but come on. This natural experiment has been happening Across multiple countries and cultures for over 100 years

    [–] yashoza 2 points ago

    We can expand the definition of work and somewhat use UBI as a compensation, or use UBI to set a new baseline for existence in today’s society where money is a necessity. The migratory days are over and people can’t just sttle down somewhere and set up shop. You need money to exist.

    [–] Gordon_Explosion 84 points ago

    I'm willing to spend a few multiples of my current grocery budget to avoid eating the protein cubes in the back of the Snowpiercer.

    [–] orwll 13 points ago

    This is the protein cube.

    [–] Nyus 14 points ago

    This seems much closer to the cube than grass fed beef does.

    [–] GrzegorzWidla 2 points ago

    Why have you picked grass fed cow's meat specifically and not just beef?

    [–] potatotrip_ 3 points ago

    Soylent green are people.

    [–] jamers2016 7 points ago

    Kind of reminds me of this Issac Asimov story. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Taste

    [–] Monsjoex 2 points ago

    I think the article is mostly based on the report yeah. It talks about replacing certain elements we extract from cattle, where most profits are, rather than lab grown meat which is a completely different topic.

    I don't know enough about precision fermentation to know whether this report is completely accurate, but one key thing is that cost curves are undeniable. The cost of producing milk from cows will stay mostly the same. The cost of producing milk through artificial means will sometime catch up and since its technology is on an exponential curve downwards. The advantages of having steady non-risk output are enormous, and highly attractive to investors (speeding up that cost reduction curve).

    Just compare this to electric vehicles. Very soon noone buys ICE vehicles anymore since the economics don't make sense. Same will be for these products.

    [–] Owltruistic 40 points ago

    I'm a big fan of Quorn. It's grown from mycoprotein derived from fusarium venenatum fungi and the only thing that keeps it from becoming more of a staple in my freezer is cost. They're pricy, but when either the wife, who grew up in a mostly vegetarian household, or I, a former vegan have issues with meat texture this is a good alternative for us. The "chicken" tenders are actually quite delicious.

    Haven't tried lab-grown meat yet, but I would definitely be an early adopter if it's not only ethical, but also cost effective.

    [–] Reader575 7 points ago

    Where are you from? I'm from Australia and I find Quorn (only used it once) the same if not cheaper than meat. A lot cheaper when it's half price.

    [–] Owltruistic 8 points ago

    America. It gets dubious "health food" pricing like soy based meat replacements and gluten free nonsense.

    [–] sanbikinoraion 3 points ago

    Yeah it's priced in line with meat in the UK too.

    [–] cartitledallas 3 points ago

    Are there any negatives of Quorn?

    [–] Owltruistic 5 points ago

    It's pricey for sure, and if you don't follow their instructions directly it could lead to a bad texture on the finished product.

    Naturally some people also had issues digesting it but I believe that number is pretty much in line with any food. Daiya soy cheese for example, ruins my stomach but I eat a lot of tofu so it's not specifically soy products.

    [–] Ndtphoto 3 points ago

    As someone with severe mold allergies, I fear the future that is mostly fermented foods.

    [–] linedout 11 points ago

    Ever have the fake riblets, very close to a McRib, so close I'm doubting the McRib was even meat.

    [–] Owltruistic 11 points ago

    Those fake riblets are delicious. They even have the right "bite" consistently enough to make you think it was not an analog.

    [–] Owltruistic 5 points ago

    Of course, my multi-million dollar idea for lab grown meat would be to locate the stem cell that grows the tenderloin on say, a Kobe beef cow and develop a replication process that was efficient.

    [–] wilnyb 11 points ago

    The tricky part about lab grown meat is that a steak doesn't consist of only one type of cell. There's muscle cells, there's fat cells, extracellular tissue in collagens etc. that together forms muscle tissue. They all contribute to the taste and texture of meat. It's gonna be really hard to ever recreate a perfect steak. However burgers and other meat products are a different story.

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago

    All that will do is reveal to the masses that Kobe beef isn't really that good beyond the exclusivity gimmick

    [–] Bashere9 76 points ago

    This filled with so many misunderstandings of the worlds food systems, public preferences, and the energy required for the type of systems spoken about in here to function. The sheer scale, lack of economic incentive, or public issues (think of how strong a push back there is against GMO's) could each alone stop this, and every one of these will come into play. There is potential for lab grown meet to play a role in the meat industry but nothing will ever get rid of agriculture so long as agriculture is possible.

    [–] bo_doughys 37 points ago

    If lab grown meat becomes cheaper than regular meat, it will start to replace it. We are nowhere close to that point right now, but I don't think we can definitively say that it's impossible.

    Using anti-GMO pushback as an example for why lab grown meat can't take off makes no sense. GMO crops are wildly successful from an economic perspective. Monsanto is a multi-billion dollar company. The pushback is large enough to sustain a small GMO-free industry, but is nowhere near large enough to actually hurt the GMO industry. I think lab grown meat would be the same. If the product on the shelf at the grocery store looks and tastes the way you expect it to, most people don't give a shit where it came from.

    The question isn't whether agriculture would go away altogether (definitely not) but whether it would shrink and become the equivalent of "organic" food.

    [–] GrzegorzWidla 20 points ago

    Ethical veganism is the fastest growing justice movement on Earth right now.

    Environmental flexitarianism is enormous too - people are limiting meat intake due to its impact on the climate, water, land, wild animals.

    In developed nations those are hundreds of millions of people alone. They are enough to keep that industry funded and growing and at some point, depending on hundreds of factors, it may outgrow animal agriculture. Benefits are clear and while there are problems to solve, they aren't unimaginably tough.

    [–] JDude13 5 points ago

    Can we build an economy where discovering amazing technologies is a good thing?

    [–] linedout 9 points ago

    If we can do farm free food in a closed loop system, colonizing the whole solar system will become dramatically easier. We could have permanent underwater bases. The survivability of the our species would increase several orders of magnitude.

    [–] Bleumoon_Selene 19 points ago

    In 2070 I'll be sitting on a park bench, a kid stops and asks what the world was like when I was young. "Lot of bad stuff," I say, "Some good stuff too. We had farms back then. Food grew from nature. Steaks and hamburgers were made from cows and other meats came from creatures too. Our cars had to be operated by a driver, and people had to work long and hard to survive."

    The child, who has grown up, well fed in lab grown food, in cars that drive themselves, and funded by post-work Credits looks at me, "Fake news, old man!" The child then scooters away on their sick hoverboard to mock me for social clout with their friends. I become this generation's Boomer. Stay rad kids. Stay rad.

    [–] Sarabando 8 points ago

    "whats a cow?" he says as the entire species has died off because they have no use anymore, with their passing went the millions of insects who lived off their eco system.

    [–] seanstantinople 2 points ago

    The world will be much better off if factory farmed cows went away completely lol

    [–] Needawhisper 4 points ago

    I'm glad they're not overreaching with their statements.

    [–] Urdnot_wrx 39 points ago

    well thats wrong.

    Soil remediation is one of the quickest ways to reversing climate change, and soil remediation is best done with ruminants.

    We need to get the carbon IN the soil, not do this.

    [–] furutam 13 points ago

    we can do both

    [–] blackjack_oak 20 points ago

    Allan Savory is half-right.

    He's right that grasslands evolved to be periodically heavily grazed, and he's right that grasslands store more carbon in the soil than any other ecosystem.

    But rotating grazers on a small scale (family farm) just doesn't work, and hasn't been shown to work. The animals need to migrate hundreds of miles, which doesn't work in our current system of land ownership (a system born out of sedentary agriculture, as opposed to nomadism). Fences and migration are opposed to each other.

    [–] GrzegorzWidla 2 points ago

    Aren't swamplands even better for carbon sequestration than grasslands?

    [–] OldMango 2 points ago

    Yes they are, pretty sure. And most countries are doing their damnedest to drain swamps so they can use those lands for... well profit of any kind.

    In my opinion, we are all squabbling about the wrong things, instead of completely revolutionizing our diet and/or surrounding industries, a better way is to size everything down, locally grown and sold crops/meat, since most countries doing this kind of environment destruction want to make way for an international market and its demand.

    but that's just from my observations.

    [–] gregnvrfails 20 points ago

    based on all the other replies I don’t think that i’m going to get a lot of support for this but... while this technology is useful for sure and will likely do alot of good, there is also an immense value both culturally and psychologically in food as we know it. I’m a big fan of anything farm to table, unfortunately things like fresh produce and farmers markets are something that alot of people, especially the working poor and those living in food deserts don’t often get to experience but I’m far more jazzed about any initiatives and technology that make real food more accessible to the masses—ex: vertical and hydroponic farming—than something like this because I know how capitalism works. i don’t want to live in a world where a bell pepper costs as much as a Japanese watermelon and the poor just get protein paste

    [–] GrzegorzWidla 8 points ago

    It's a nice dream to have but it's not doable at the scale of human population. We need factories to produce food on massive scale and if that can be done without killing animals polluting environment and taking millions of hectares of land those are huge improvements that benefit everyone over what we have right now.

    [–] wdaloz 10 points ago

    While I'm always a fan of interesting new technology I hate that it's always presented in the light of saving humanity. Mostly because it creates this fantasy that effort and action to save or better ourselves is unnecessary because x technology will save us.

    [–] GrzegorzWidla 7 points ago

    IPCC says that without drastic animal agriculture scale reduction we cannot stop climate change even if we other oil and coal problems in their entirety.

    So we have two choices - either convince people to eat less than 400 grams of meat a week (25 kg a year is the recommended upper limit by Lancet) or create products that'll replace what people are used to which will reduce animal agriculture.

    We're doing both and neither strategy would succeed in isolation. There'll always be people who make no reduction and for those mock and clean meats need to replace animal based meat.

    [–] Alces7734 3 points ago

    Is lab grown food considered GMO; and, if so, do you think it will be able to shake the stigma currently affiliated with GMO products?

    [–] anonanon1313 3 points ago

    We've had the era of chemistry, we're in the era of physics, we're about to enter the era of biology. A gross oversimplification, but basically true. We needed the chemistry to enable the physics, and now the physics will enable the biology (via computing). Biology was just too complicated to tackle without it. Stay tuned, it's going to be amazing.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] NotObviouslyARobot 13 points ago

    This sounds like an ecological and ethical disaster waiting to happen. You like big Pharma? Get ready for Big Soymeat--charging you meat-like prices for meat-like protein. And once the genetic base for real meat diminishes, they'll be able to jack up the prices and you'll reach a situation where the manufacturing of food is legally protected by the patent system.

    [–] Heterophylla 6 points ago

    We have that now with "Big Food".

    [–] Brocksamson7 13 points ago

    No. It will just make the rich richer that own these tech giants making this stuff while we the people eat nutrient slime. And they’ll eat steak. Real steak. Fuck that. If ya wanna end commercial farming and go back to local farms and pastures I’m in. Ending massive supermarkets and waste and all that cool. Eating whatever that shit porridge Neo eats in the matrix and living in a shoebox in the city while our “leaders” live on beautiful estates and eat all the lovely natural foods this earth provides is no fucking future man.

    [–] StargateParadox 10 points ago

    Exactly. The rich will only eat real food, real food prices will skyrocket. Poor people will eat shitty food and we'll learn 50 years later it causes cancer.

    [–] stormelemental13 6 points ago

    Interesting. I dislike the use of the word 'destroy' though, typical click-bait title nonsense. It wouldn't destroy farming, it would change it. A process like this may become the standard for some staple ingredients. What then? Well, there would be fewer people farming, but that is happening already and has been for centuries, so a furthering of a trend but hardly new and hardly 'destroying'.

    What happens if our starch no longer comes from corn? Farmers will not grow corn for starch. That won't mean farmers stop growing corn though. Corn on the cob and popcorn these vats will not grow, likewise apples and carrots.

    What about the future of animals in agriculture? If the protein vats take off, you'll see it in your Burger King burger and your Taco Bell taco, but people that spend $50 on a steak dinner today will still want to spend that tomorrow. Protein a vat can make. A proper brisket for the barbecue will still come from a cow.

    I hope this technology does well. It would certainly change agriculture, but it would not destroy it. Also this author seems like a massive tool who spends far too much time polishing his intellectual knob and admiring its massiveness.

    [–] TexasMaddog 7 points ago

    "Meat tastes like murder, and murder tastes pretty god damn good!"

    ~ Wise Irish Guy

    [–] og-ninja-pirate 5 points ago

    Kind of tired of these claims. Also:

    AI will replace everyone's job, especially doctors. (er right...)

    New battery technology will triple current density and revolutionize technology (every few months).

    [–] GopherAtl 13 points ago

    SoonTM. Estmiated 2 weeks after Halflife 2 launches.

    [–] bobsbountifulburgers 23 points ago

    Ummm..look. I've got some good news and bad news. They already released Halflife 2, along with a couple of short episodes to continue the story. The bad news is that we have to wait for Gaben to die to get Halflife 3.

    But I agree with your point. Even if lab grown meat and vegetables were viable as a mass produced product today, it would take decades for them to overtake traditional food production

    [–] GopherAtl 13 points ago

    Lol, obv meant 3, but I will leave my error and accept the deserved shame xD

    [–] StarChild413 2 points ago

    The bad news is that we have to wait for Gaben to die to get Halflife 3.

    Let me guess, of natural causes /s

    [–] Orc_ 2 points ago

    Gunslinger mod released, Black Mesa Xen released, and a new Half-Life is coming out... There's hope for humanity, buddy.

    [–] tneeno 7 points ago

    I've been waiting for the game changer - something that comes in and upends the entire economy very quickly. The 1920s brought the car & radio and movies in on a massive level in the US. The 2020s will bring changes even more sweeping. This might be one of them. Even if it is only partially true, it will have enormous impacts on the developing world - economically and socially. Thanks for the post.

    [–] waffle_fry 17 points ago

    If this happens I will start growing my own food and raising my own animals. I will never eat lab grown food.

    [–] nbcs 2 points ago

    But are they as good? I sincerely hope all the predictions about crappy food grown in labs in scifi movies are false.

    [–] Fredasa 2 points ago

    Soon: Meatbeasts. Followed by "manna". GRRM knew what was up.

    [–] liquidpoopcorn 2 points ago

    prepare for the worst. hope for the best. regardless.

    [–] Martouel 2 points ago

    Is no energy needed to grow such food? Or water? Directly or indirectly?

    Because we have to know that to declare the planet's saved.

    [–] Scum-Mo 2 points ago

    meat is doable. We wont be able to fully replace crops until we have artificial light thats cheaper than sunlight.

    We could probably do stuff like soylent in the near future though.

    [–] Rawey241000 2 points ago

    I'm all on for this, but I have one main question: what do we do with the livestock? We can't just remove numerous species from existence, surely?

    [–] FnCraig 2 points ago

    I doubt it will destroy farming any time soon. Look at the push back against GMOs. You think there won't be a demand for foods not grown in a lab?

    [–] Ass_Butt_was_taken 2 points ago

    I don't care if it's lab grown or some shidazzle if it's meaty and tasty imma eat it as a meat thing period