From printer to pan | TheFencePost.com

From printer to pan

Laugh tracks in the dust
Milo Yield
Damphemore Acres, Kan.

Who knows what the future will bring in agriculture and the food industry? I certainly don't. I try my best to keep up with the changes in agriculture, and, while doing so, I find some crazy stuff on the horizon.

The latest weird thing I read about is "printed steak." Yep, some Spanish company wants to fill the world with "socially conscious carnivores" one steak at a time. The company relies on 3-D printers to make their meat. The founder of the company, Nova Meat, is Giuseppe Scionti, and he calls his invention "an innovative entree that goes from printer to pan."

Scionti came up with the idea two years ago. Since then, he's been printing and preparing vegan steaks, which are plant-based meat substitutes. Scionti proudly says he's "creating the first 3-D-printed plant-based beef steak."

The 3-D printer uses an edible ink, with ingredients such as a slurry of rice, peas and seaweed, which comes in a cartridge. The 3-D printer takes the role as chef, working meticulously and monotonously to prepare the "raw steak" in under 10 minutes. As reported, the "steak" is printed with the same texture and appearance of a normal beef steak. After a quick sizzle on the skillet or the grill and a dash of oregano … it's time to eat. Yum! Yum!

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As you'd expect, the purpose of "printed steak" isn't really about good eating. It's about creating a good environment by finding an alternative to real meat since livestock farming is supposedly one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. The company says so.

Despite the glowing reports about "printed steak," I still say the fake steak has to win over consumers' taste buds … one Bud at a time — or maybe a 12-pack.

The 3-D steaks are still not available to buy. Also, cost is unknown. The company hopes to expand its food options in the future by creating 3-D printed tuna steaks and chicken breasts. So, watch your backs fish farmers and chicken farmers.

While I won't say that "printed steaks, fish and chicken fillets," will never happen because I've seen too much happen to discount any new invention, I will say that I believe it will be quite some time before a printed "vegan slurry steak" will be as delectable to human palates as a prime grade beef rib steak, salted and peppered, and grilled to medium-rare perfection.

I can almost assure that the world will not be a better place to live if and when "printed meat" becomes the norm.

•••

Farmers and ranchers love their dogs, especially if those dogs are herding dogs, protecting dogs, or hunting dogs.

Which brings me to this story: A newly wed sheepman buys an expensive 8-week-old female Border Collie and names it "Nessie."

Sadly, it turns out that the guy's wife is extremely allergic to dogs. So, equally sadly, the poor guy, with tears in his eyes, runs the following ad in his local paper.

"My wife is allergic to our new female Border Collie puppy, so we are now looking to find her a new home. She is 22 years old, an attractive and caring woman who is a great cook, has a well-paying job in town, and keeps a clean house."

•••

A farm wife is in the kitchen with her 8-year-old daughter and they're putting away the sacks of groceries they just bought in town.

As they empty the plastic bags of groceries, the daughter says in an earnest voice, "Mom, we need to recycle these plastic bags so we can save the planet."

Surprised by that request, Mom replies, "And why, dear, do you want to save the planet?"

Her daughter logically answers, "Because that's where I keep all my stuff."

•••

Okay, here's a little story that's funny in a macabre kind of way:

Six siblings, their wives and a whole passle of children and grandchildren are gathered in a solemn rural hospital room as their gravely ill mother/grandmother lays silently on her death bed.

The frail mother manages to open her eyes, survey her family gathered around her, and weakly whisper, "I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten the family together like this more often."

•••

And, reported from rural church bulletins: "Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hello' to someone who doesn't care much about you."

And another: "Don't let worry kill you off. Let the church help."

And another: "The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment, and gracious hostility."

And, finally: "Potluck supper Sunday at 5 p.m. Prayer and medication to follow."

•••

Here are this week's words of wisdom: "Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile."

Have a good 'un. ❖