It won’t be long before we can travel into space for $200,000 and solve global hunger by printing healthy pizza made with grass and insects. NASA has given mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor a $125,000 grant to create a prototype for a food synthesizer that uses his 3-D printing technology. Say what? The idea is that people can buy cartridges of sugars, carbohydrates, and protein in powder form, which could last 30 years, and then use 3-D printing to synthesize nutritious meals one layer at a time.
“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” Contractor told Quartz. “So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.” Contractor’s focusing on making a “pizza printer” that will produce a layer of heated dough, a tomato base, and a protein layer from animals, milk, or plants. So how the hell do bugs, the food of the future, play into this plan? Dutch think-tank TNO Research says that 3-D printed meals can be made from alternative ingredients like insects, algae, and grass. Let’s hope it tastes better than rehydrated astronaut coffee.