Your Steak May Soon Come From a 3-D Food Printer

A startup is working to create meat substitutes from 3-D bioprinting

A 3-D printer might be able to print synthetic meat.

We've heard about everything from chocolate printers to test-tube burgers, but soon the two may be combined (and not in a chocolate-burger way). CNET reports that billionaire Peter Thiel has just donated some $350,000 to a Missouri startup researching how to print meat.

Of course, it's not like printed meat is going to pop up on moto's menu tomorrow, but the company is hoping that the eco-friendly product will eventually end up in restaurant menus, grocery stores, and more. Called Modern Meadow, the startup is attempting to combine "regenerative medicine with 3-D printing to imagine an economic and compassionate solution to a global problem," said Lindy Fishburne, executive director of Breakout Labs.

Apparently, the short term goal is simply to create a piece of synthetic meat less than 1-inch long. It's not even enough to put on a skewer, but at least it shows meat printing is possible. And from there, the company hopes to develop a low-cost production method to make meat printing accessible.

"If you look at the resource intensity of everything that goes into a hamburger, it is an environmental train wreck," Modern Meadow co-founder Andras Forgacs said. Meat printers may just solve at least one of these problems. Also, a printer that spits out steaks on command just sounds genius.

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(Photo Modified: Flickr/Taryn)