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"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, it [science fiction] is par excellence the literature of the open mind."
- John Brunner

Carniculture Plants  
  Industrial plants that grow meat protein.  

He should have gotten excited about that, and wanted to see them. Instead, he was watching the cargo come off -- food-stuffs, now -- and wanted to know if we had to import everything we needed.

"Oh, no. We're going in on the Bottom Level, which is mainly storage, but we have hydroponic farms for our vegetables and carniculture plants for meat on the Second and Third Levels. That's counting down from the Main City Level. We make our own lumber, out of reeds harvested in the swamps after sunrise and converted to pulpwood, and we get some good hardwood from the native trees which only grow in four periods of two hundred hours a year. We only use that for furniture, gunstocks, that sort of thing. And there are a couple of mining camps and smelters on the mainland; they employ about a thousand of our people. But every millisol that's spent on this planet is gotten from the sale of tallow-wax, at second or third hand if not directly."

That seemed to interest him more. Maybe his book, if he was really writing one, was going to be an economic study of Fenris. Or maybe his racket, whatever it was, would be based on something connected with our local production. I went on telling him about our hydroponic farms, and the carniculture plant where any kind of animal tissue we wanted was grown--Terran pork and beef and poultry, Freyan _zhoumy_ meat, Zarathustran veldtbeest.... He knew, already, that none of the native life-forms, animal or vegetable, were edible by Terrans.

"You can get all the _paté de foie gras_ you want here," I said. "We have a chunk of goose liver about fifty feet in diameter growing in one of our vats."

From Four-Day Planet, by H. Beam Piper.
Published by Not known in 1961
Additional resources -

It was also possible to use the carniculture plants for growing human tissue for transplantation:

Only you can't grow fingerprints by carniculture, the way you can human tissue for grafting.

Thanks to Greg Weeks for contributing this item.

Compare to the compact food pastilles from The Senator's Daughter (1879) by Edward Page Mitchell (another form of chemical food) and the synthetic food (vat-grown meat) from Unto Us A Child Is Born (1933) by David H Keller. Also, see artificial food from The World Set Free (1914) by HG Wells.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Four-Day Planet
  More Ideas and Technology by H. Beam Piper
  Tech news articles related to Four-Day Planet
  Tech news articles related to works by H. Beam Piper

Carniculture Plants-related news articles:
  - Dutch Growing Pork In Lab
  - InVitroMeat Foundation
  - In Vitro Meat Symposium - Try The Veal!
  - Will In-Vitro Meat Change Our Lives?
  - Petri Dish Pork Lookin' Purty Good
  - Grow Cultured Meat In A 'Carnery'
  - Lab-Grown Burger $345K

Articles related to Food
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza

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