published Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Braly: Future of food tasteless, frighting

I recently read an article at on food of the future. And, from what I read, it sounds tasteless and rather frightening. Most have heard that nanobytes are the wave of the future. Now, the website is reporting that we may be eating them:

“On the fringes of how we might eat in the future lies an idea from the celebrated scientist Robert Freitas, whose putative nanorobots, powered by a radiactive gadolinium isotope, would patrol every cell in the human body and supply energy to cells directly so that it needn’t come from food.

“This would only replace food’s caloric aspect, so we’d still need to take vitamin and nutritional supplements in order to provide the body with new matter as cells die off, according to Patrick Tucker, director of communications for the World Future Society. Still, there’s a certain cold comfort in knowing that if worse comes to worst, nanotechnology might give us a food pill that, taken every 10 years or so, would power our bodies if the planet loses the ability to do so — or if we’re forced to leave the planet, as Stephen Hawking suggests.”

My daughter is a Georgia Tech getting her doctorate in chemistry engineering and currently working to devise a solar cell using nanorods that would lengthen the flight of drones, a project funded by the U.S. Air Force.

A few months ago, she took photos of the nanorods, enlarging them thousands of time so we could see them. They looked like little bean sprouts. But I can’t imagine eating them.

I certainly don’t think that this pill, suggested by Mr. Freitas, will happen in our lifetimes, More likely a few generations down the road. But I’m already feeling bad for my great-great-great grandchildren if it comes to pass. One thing for sure, thought, it would rid America of our obesity epidemic.

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