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5 tech trends that will change the world in 2017

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The Rise of Synthetic Food

As the world gets more populated, and in turn our natural resources and our climate are stretched to the limit, how and what we eat will change as the year rolls on. The world needs to think of ways to feed itself, and the answer might be mixed into synthetic food.

Solyent is a high-profile example. While the nutritional powder has been around for just about two years, in 2016 it gained momentum. Soylent has all the nutrients the average person needs, but there’s one big problem: it’s kind of unappetizing.

The world needs to think of ways to feed itself.

That’s something scientists are working on. One possibility is Beyond Meat, a company that started to demo its pea protein, yeast extract, beet juice, and coconut oil burger-like substance late last year to the press; it’s available in select Whole Foods supermarkets right now. Another company, Impossible Foods, is working towards a similar goal — and you can grab its plant-based burger from New York City restaurant Momofoku Nishi for $13. Sure, you can tell it’s not the real thing, but both burgers have gotten surprisingly good reviews.

Others are working on growing foods, like eggs and meat, in laboratory environments. Consumers are increasingly pushing for more cruelty-free and environmentally friendly foods, and lab-grown food addresses that problem.

One thing is for certain: by the end of the New Year, your veggie burger should make its way out of the vegetarian aisle at the supermarket. Hopefully other synthetic foods will crop up too, answering the ever bigger problem of feeding the world, helping us eat healthier — and letting us enjoy guilt-free comfort food.

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