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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

Artificial Food  
  Food produced without soil, chemically.  

And the chemists' triumphs of synthesis, which could now give us an entirely artificial food, remain largely in abeyance because it is so much more pleasant and interesting to eat natural produce and to grow such things upon the soil.
From The World Set Free, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Not Known in 1914
Additional resources -

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.

Thanks to Trent Waddington (@QuantumG for suggesting this item and supplying a quote.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The World Set Free
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to The World Set Free
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

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