Miraculously, this is also a self-replicating device, which works largely unattended, has very low operating costs, and is highly reliable.
Finally, it’s recycled to create a very versatile solid protein that many of us find compelling. Congratulations – you’ve invented the sheep.
Yet Silicon Valley thinks it can make a machine that’s even better.
Ten years ago, the billionaire co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, stumped up the capital to create the world’s first lab-grown “beef burger”, created by multiplying animal cells in a sterile bioreactor.
The bandwagon has rolled on, embracing an unlikely alliance of venture capitalists, climate change activists and libertarians. Bill Gates and Richard Branson are keen investors, while a prototype test tube “salmon” has won the heart of the globetrotting climate change campaigner Leonardo DiCaprio. For these private island-hoppers, nothing is more exciting today than the world of “alternative proteins”. The idea is that as the artificial steak sizzles in your pan, you won’t be able to tell the difference.