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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Protine  
  A mutant algae that can be engineered to look and taste similar to normal food.  

Ted Benteley's wife Laura was preparing dinner.

"If that's protine," Benteley said to her, "it's the best job of adulteration I've ever smelled."

"We never have protine," Laura answered briskly. "We tried it the first year we were married, but you can taste it no matter how they fix it up. It's terribly costly to buy natural foods, of course, but it's worth it..."

"Protine isn't a natural algae. It's a mutant that started out in culture tanks in the Middle East and gradually crept onto a variety of fresh-water surfaces."

"It also grows over the Great Lakes..."

From Solar Lottery, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1955
Additional resources -

See also crop algae in Cities in Flight, written in the mid-1950's by James Blish.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Solar Lottery
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Solar Lottery
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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