Are steaks from space about to land on our plates? Will pork chops make it to the menu of future settlers on Mars? And all that without having to send cows and pigs to space? An exceptional 3D-printer has recently arrived on the International Space Station (ISS) that currently travels in orbit around the Earth. Its purpose is not just printing three-dimensional objects from hot plastic, but producing (or rather printing)…tissues. The Organ.Aut printer has been developed by a Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions. The printer replicates and arranges living cells for various types of tissues, including muscle tissue (meat). It was Organ.Aut that produced the first beef “steak” made in space. The steak development process began on Earth, where cells were extracted from a cow through a biopsy. Then the cells were put in a special, nutrient-rich “broth”, a medium with a formula imitating…

Home meat grinder with a hand wheel was the progenitor of today’s professional electric meat grinders. Read more to find out how long meat grinder has been around and learn about its inventor. Meat grinder was invented by Karl Drais (full name: Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig Freiherr Drais von Sauerbron), who lived in Germany in 19th century. He was a forest official by education and profession, but also had an outstanding acumen for mechanics and machinery construction. Main components of a meat grinder are a sturdy metal body and an auger (screw conveyor) with cutting blades. The auger, hidden in the body, was powered manually with a rotating handle. The auger pushes meat towards spinning blades mounted at the end of the auger’s axis. Further, the meat is pressed outside through a mincing plate with small holes. After taking off the locking ring and the…

Due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, canned meat, vegetables and fruit, along with the sought-after toilet paper, are again a scarce resource. But how did we get to using canned food, and what does it have to do with a Polish town of Żyrardów? People have always searched ways to extend the life of foods and prevent their spoiling in order to save provisions for later. The fundamentals of processing foods for preservation and canning were invented by a Parisian baker and cook Nicolas Appert (1749-1841). After many experiments, he concluded that the most effective method for long-term food preservation is to heat it up to the boiling temperature in an airtight container. In his pioneering work, Appert, as a true Frenchman born and bred in the Champagne region, used…glass champagne bottles. The inventor filled them with meat, vegetables, fruit, and soups. Appert’s preservation method…

In a sleepy, little town of Mitchell in Indiana (USA), in a small local museum, next to a capsule of a spaceship from the early space age, there is one unusual beef sandwich. Over half a century old corned beef sandwich, preserved in transparent acrylic, memorializes the beginnings of the space flight era and a funny incident out on the orbit (picture by Wonderful Engineering). On 23 March 1965, onboard the American spacecraft Gemini 3, orbiting around the Earth, took place a historic conversation: Grissom: What is it? Young: Corned beef sandwich. Grissom: Where did that come from? Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it? Grissom: Yes, it’s breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket. […] Grissom: Not a very good one. Young: Pretty good, though, if it would just hold together. Gemini 3 was…

Meat, vegetables (mainly potatoes), bread and fruits were the basic ingredients in the submariners’ menu on German U-Boats during World War 2. While long-distance German U-Boats were excellent killing machines, habitability ranked very low on their designers’ priority list. Type VII boats were the workhorse of the German Kriegsmarine, with 703 built. They were too small for ocean ships, though: there was no place for a pantry, not to mention refrigerators. Meanwhile, for about a 1.5-month patrol with a crew of 50, the ship stored as much as 12.5 tons of food, including 2,180 kg of tinned meat, 108 kg of sausage, 1,750 kg of potatoes, and 151 kg of fish, according to the book “U-boat Combat Missions: First Hand Accounts of U-boat Life and Operations.” Food was cramped literally everywhere: between torpedoes, overheads, under tables and…in the toilet. The absence of a pantry on…