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"The first thing that's wrong with being a science-fiction writer today is that the present has caught up with the future and surpassed it."
- Peter Watts

Chemical Production of Food  
  Creation of food in the laboratory rather than in the field.  

At the National College, where it is taught as a regular science, I witnessed the chemical production of bread and a preparation resembling meat. Agriculture in this wonderful land, was a lost art. No one that I questioned had any knowledge of it. It had vanished in the dim past of their barbarism. With the exception of vegetables and fruit, which were raised in luscious perfection, their food came from the elements. A famine among such enlightened people was impossible, and scarcity was unknown. Food for the body and food for the mind were without price. It was owing to this that poverty was unknown to them, as well as disease. The absolute purity of all that they ate preserved an activity of vital power long exceeding our span of life. The length of their year, measured by the two seasons, was the same as ours, but the women who had marked a hundred of them in their lifetime, looked younger and fresher, and were more supple of limb than myself, yet I had barely passed my twenty-second year.

I wrote out a careful description of the processes by which they converted food out of the valueless elements—valueless because of their abundance—and put it carefully away for use in my own country. There drouth, or excessive rainfalls, produced scarcity, and sometimes famine. The struggle of the poor was for food, to the exclusion of all other interests. Many of them knew not what proper and health-giving nourishment was. But here in Mizora, the daintiest morsels came from the chemists laboratory, cheap as the earth under her feet.

From Mizora: A Prophecy, by Mary E. Bradley Lane.
Published by Cincinnati Commercial in 1881
Additional resources -

Compare to the compact food pastilles from The Senator's Daughter (1879) by Edward Page Mitchell and artificial food From The World Set Free (1914) by HG Wells.

Compare to synthetic food from Unto us a Child is Born (1933) by David H. Keller, syntho-steak from Farmer in the Sky (1950) by Robert Heinlein, vat meat from The End of the Line (1951) by James Schmitz, Chicken Little from The Space Merchants (1952) by Frederik Pohl and CM Kornbluth, animal tissue culture vat from Uller Uprising (1952) by H. Beam Piper, carniculture plants (factories) from Four-Day Planet (1961) by H. Beam Piper, butcher plant from Time is the Simplest Thing (1961) by Clifford Simak, pseudoflesh from Whipping Star (1969) by Frank Herbert, vat-grown meat from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson and ChickieNobs from Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mizora: A Prophecy
  More Ideas and Technology by Mary E. Bradley Lane
  Tech news articles related to Mizora: A Prophecy
  Tech news articles related to works by Mary E. Bradley Lane

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