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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Food Brick  
  Appropriate manufactured food for any species.  

The flycycles from Ringworld had lots of handy technologies. People and other beings get hungry on quests; how can you find something to eat?

The food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks. Six times he dialed a brick, took a bite and dropped the brick into the intake hopper. Each brick tasted different, and they all tasted good.

At least he would not get bored with eating. Not soon, anyway.

But if they could not find plants and water to shovel into the intake hopper, the food slot would eventually stop delivering bricks.

He dialed a seventh brick and ate it.

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
Additional resources -

Different bricks for different species; what would a Kzin (basically an eight-foot tall sentient tiger) eat if it couldn't catch any red meat?

Presently Speaker returned to the 'cycles. His mouth was not bloody. At his 'cycle he dialed, not for an allergy pill, but for a wet brick-shaped slab of warm liver. The mighty hunter returns, Louis thought, keeping his mouth firmly shut.

And thanks to Dave for suggesting a 'food' category!

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ringworld
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Ringworld
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Food Brick-related news articles:
  - 3D Printed Food Served In German Nursing Homes
  - Foodini 3D Printer
  - 3D Printing Dinner

Articles related to Food
OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
BlueNalu Yellowtail Might Be Your First Lab-Grown Meat
Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like

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