Can techies improve food?

September 8, 2015

I’m very skeptical. In theory, we can recreate all the possible components of a given food — if we could only identify them. With the relatively infantile base of knowledge we currently possess, I don’t think any engineered food powder will contain all the micronutrients we get from real food.

Infant formula has improved by leaps and bounds over the years. They’ve introduced DHA, prebiotics, various specific nutrients like taurine, inositol, and choline, and played with the macronutrients to get it closer and closer to the real thing. Yet it’s still inferior to breast milk. Now, some time out in the future, maybe we’ll finally pin it down. Maybe parents won’t have to take leave at all. They’ll just strap the kid to the android wetnurse, refill its lab-grown mammary sacs with optimized formula, and head straight back to work. Progress!

But you see my point, don’t you?