QSR Interview | By Sherri Daye Scott
So the key to your whole strategy—the software, the retail line—is lessening the amount of energy restaurants use? It’s one of the key elements. If you go to Transstudio.com … this is a friend of mine, Blaine Brownell. He’s one of the world’s top experts in materials. And basically, we’re going to run out of lead in 18 to 20 years.
Now, that might not seem like a big deal, but if you’re in the medical profession, you rely on lead for X-rays, MRIs, EKGs. We’re going to have to re-engineer everything in the medical profession to sustain the healthcare costs that we have right now. So healthcare costs are going to go through the roof.
This is all because we’re just consuming natural resources at an alarming rate. We need things that are going to allow us to spend our energy being more creative and less worrying about what this guy over at the prep station is saying to me because I don’t speak his language.
The clock is ticking away. There are other elements we’re going to run out of in 30 to 40 years. In 170 years every resource on planet Earth will be consumed if we continue at this rate.
So, one of two things is going to happen: We’re going to go to Mars or we’re going to bring Mars to us. Mars is rich in nickel so we’re going to have to either a) re-learn and re-engineer everything to be made out of nickel, or b) we’re going to have to get smarter and work more efficiently. I prefer the second.
The food replicator is another project in case Plan B doesn’t work out and we go back to Plan A, which is going to Mars.
Food replicator? Picture taking an apple. It’s all natural. It grew in Washington. You picked it at dusk. It’s juicy, it’s crunchy, it’s perfect.
We take that exact apple. We split it up. We put it in print heads, into its essential binary, physical form. In other words: We take an apple, and we split it up into its primary ingredients—amylase, pectin, water, acids, cellulose, chlorophyll…the list goes on and on. So we have these standard ingredients that we can use to reformulate the apple. Then we print the apple up again in its original three-dimensional form.
So, the apple we’ve thus created is an all-natural, all-organic, completely sustainable apple, but we’ve done this in order to achieve shelf stability. The apple can be picked today and then printed up in five years as we’re excavating the landscape on a Martian planet.
How far are we from a functional food replicator? You know, that’s an interesting question. NASA seemed to think that we were 40 to 60 years away. Then we started talking to them, and they said maybe 5 to 15 years away. So it really depends. It’s going to take commercial funding, I’m convinced. And it’s just one of the many things we’re going to do on our own.