Synthetic Food

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That's what we call food!

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If you thought food pills were bad, at least you never had to deal with the horror of purely synthetic food.  As part of a space experiment in 1965, twenty four men volunteered to be fed nothing but a food made from pure chemicals for nineteen weeks.  I should say that that twenty four men started, but only fifteen finished.  No, the other nine didn't starve to death.  The experiment proved quite successful from a medical point of view and everyone who finished was perfectly healthy.  It had more to do with the fact that the "food" wasn't even as solid a meal as a pill. 

It was syrup.  Looked like weak corn syrup.  Tasted like weak corn syrup.

No wonder they had to be locked up for the duration of the experiment.  One unguarded window and it was "Hello, cheeseburger!"

For any aspiring cooks with access to an organic chemistry lab, here is the recipe.  Frankly, I'm holding out for an omelette. 

Composition of an artificial diet entirely composed of purified chemical compounds



3.58 g

Sodium L-aspartate

6.40 g

l-Leucine 3.83 g l-Threonine 2.42 g
l-Isoleucine 2.42 g l-Proline 10.33 g
l-Valine 2.67 g Glycine 1.67 g
l-Phenylalanine 1.75 g l-Serine 5.33 g
l-ArginineHCL 2.58 g l-Tyrosine ethyl esterHCL 6.83 g
l-HistidineHCLH20 1.58 g l-Tryptophan 0.75 g
l-Methionine 1.75 g l-Glutamine 9.07 g
l-Alanine 2.58 g l-Cysteine ethyl esterHCL 0.92 g

Water-soluble vitamins

Thiamine.HCL 1.00 mg d-Biotin 0.83 mg
Riboflavin 1.50 mg Folic acid 1.67 mg
Pyridoxine.HCL 1.67 mg Ascorbic acid 62.50 mg
Niacinamide 10.00 mg Cyanocobalamin 1.67 mg
Inositol 0.83 mg p-Aminobenzoic acid 416.56 mg
d-Calcium pantothenate 8.33 mg Choline bitartrate 231.25 mg


Potassium iodide 0.25 mg Potassium hydroxide 0.83 g
Manganous acetate 18.30 mg Magnesium oxide 0.38 g
Zinc benzoate 2.82 mg Sodium chloride 4.77 g
Cupric acetate 2.50 mg Ferrous gluconate 0.83 g
Sodium glycerophosphate 1.67 mg Calcium Chloride2H2O 2.44 g
Ammonium molybdate4H2O 5.23 g Sodium benzoate 1.00 g


Glucose 555.0 g Glucono-δ-lactone 17.2 g

Fats and fat-soluble vitamins

Ethyl linoeate 2.0 g α-Tocopherol acetate 57.29 mg
Vitamin A 3.64 mg Menadione 4.58 mg
Vitamin D 0.057 mg    

Now that's good eatin'!

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