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Print Your Steak: Barcelona Company Promotes Low-Fart Veggie Steak

Novameat printed veggie steak
It even looks like America! Printed veggie steak from Novameat.

Why wait for cattle to grow up on grass, farting up the planet with greenhouse gases, and go through the slaughterhouse when you can just print your steak? Novameat of Barcelona, España, is making plant-based steaks with 3D printers:

As demand for plant-based alternatives to meat rises, Barcelona-based startup Novameat is using its 3D printing technology to manufacture vegetarian “steaks” that it hopes will reach the mass market next year.

Novameat plans to sell its “steaks” directly to consumers and to businesses such as restaurants interested in producing plant-based meat, business development manager Alexandre Campos told Reuters on Tuesday.

…Campos said the startup’s aim had been to recreate the muscle fibres of animal meat but using 100% plant-based ingredients. He forecast the plant-based industry would keep growing at double-digit rates in the foreseeable future.

The company also said it was producing the fake meat for environmental reasons.

“(We seek to) replace animal meat for something that is better for the planet, ourselves and animals,” Campos said [Luis Felipe Castilleja, “With 3D Printed ‘Steaks’, Spanish Startup Eyes the Mass Market,” Reuters, 2021.06.30].

Keep an ear out for fake outrage from hidebound ranchers and Congressmen trying to protect their favored industries from technological competition. But their printed-steak factory surely doesn’t smell as bad as a CAFO. And hey: maybe we could persuade the Barcelona team to plop a big meat-print shop right here in the middle of the protein-hungry prairie and be South Dakota’s Next Big Thing for jobs of the future!


  1. John Dale 2021-07-02

    Cheers to hairy women and good farts.

    We did a delicious pork shoulder on the grill the other day with real fire.

    4 hours.

    I left plenty of meat on, and we’re making a soup out of the bone.

    My wife whipped-up the most amazing 4 pepper tomato sauce, and I pulled the pork while reducing with the sauce in water.

    For those of you wondering, I did BBQ with my shirt on .. this time.

  2. John Dale 2021-07-02

    For what it’s worth, printing takes electricity, requires processing of the filament, and requires someone to maintain the machines to do both.

    That’s why Tesla never publishes the economic math.

    Because, by and large, cows are autonomous and natural protein factories with relatively little intervention and resources.

    I don’t like the feed lots, to be honest, and I’m glad to see when a rancher has a good sense about crop rotation (especially important this year as we’ll see the wheat separated from the chaff in that regard).

  3. Vi Kingman 2021-07-02


  4. V 2021-07-02

    Neither steak looks appetizing in those pictures. Hey, I wonder if it’s 3-D tuna that Subway is serving?

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-02

    Food is like words: stare at them long enough, and they all start to look strange.

    I’m not picky. If it tastes good and doesn’t cost a lot, I’ll eat it. Make a case that the food uses too much energy or hurts the environment, and I’ll consider avoiding it, or reducing my consumption to promote more ecologically responsible alternatives. Show me that printed steaks generate more greenhouse gases from power usage than cattle, and I won’t advocate them as a solution to environmental problems.

    Yes, John, meat printers will use electricity. So do feedlots with their water pumps, lights, and other equipment. So do slaughterhouses with their lights and production lines and refrigeration units.

    But I’ll bet we could plunk a Novameat print shop right in the middle of Sioux Falls and neighbors would hardly smell a thing compared to Smithfield or the Wholestone Farms slaughterhouse coming in 2025.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-02

    Consider the possible applications for space colonization. Putting cows in spacesuits, providing them with grass and water to fatten up for a year or two, and managing their waste on the space station makes providing fresh beef in a self-sustaining space habitat impractical. Synthesizing steak from plants is much more manageable in a space station or in a nice domed colony on the moon or Mars or a hollowed-out asteroid. V may not like the looks of those printed steaks, but I’ll bet astronauts on a five-year colonization mission would appreciate the ability to print steaks that taste closer to beef than anything else they can grow in a closed space ecosystem.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-02

    All that said, if you invite me to your house and serve real meat, and I don’t see any of John Dale’s chest hairs, I’ll clean my plate and ask for seconds after everyone else has had a slice.

  8. Mark Anderson 2021-07-02

    Well, I might eat some cow on the 4th. Maybe, its been awhile and I don’t want to choke my arteries and veins again. I’m healthier now than in 20 years and haven’t touched a burger or steak since my six by passes. Growing up in Sioux Falls and Highmore skewed my eating habits. Impossible burger tastes as well as the real deal, but I’ve been waiting for the steak equivalent. I’ll probably try it but you know impossible is the only real tasting and texture burger, it might take awhile for a steak. You know when we first moved to Sarasota 35 or so years ago, I was eating a delicious cheeseburger and a colleague said to me, you know that’s your heart. He was proven correct.

  9. Mark Anderson 2021-07-02

    By the way, the novameat printed steak left out most of Florida and needs more Texas too. If they put them in think how well the US of A steak would sell on the 4th.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2021-07-02

    Well..I’m pro cow, especially if grass fed and lightly finished. Pork has a lot of protein. We’re having steak and ribs cut up with mushrooms, three kinds of peppers, tomato, spring onions, in shish kabobs over some rice looking stuff the wife puts together…corn on the cob, and I’ll have a pile of pickled beets. Family get together, I’ll try to behave. Happy 4th.

  11. DaveFN 2021-07-02

    Not a big meat-eater and many of the meat substitutes are surprisingly high calorie and high carb. Can’t find the precise food value nor ingredients in Novameat (other than fat and protein). It looks like a lot of trouble to go for what I’m after: a complete (full amino acid profile) protein easy to prepare.

    Traditional TVP (textured vegetable protein made of dried, defatted soy meal) can be tasty when doctored up but has too great a carb content to be keto.

    There are many high-quality protein powders which are low carb (for keto diets) on the market. They are made from egg, whey, and/or a variety of plant proteins and not too pricey when bought in bulk. If I want protein my preference is to drink it (no chewing!). Alternatively, low fat mozzarella is a complete protein.

  12. Porter Lansing 2021-07-02

    -Making plant based food look like meat is nonsensical.
    -What isn’t is lab grown meat.
    -Cultured meat, or lab-grown meat, is meat produced by in vitro cell cultures of animal cells. It is a form of cellular agriculture.
    – Cultured meat is produced by using many of the same tissue engineering techniques traditionally used in regenerative medicines.

  13. DaveFN 2021-07-02

    Porter Lansing

    Agree wholeheartedly with your first point.

    As far as in vivo cell-cultured meat, do you really think it will take off compared to faux plant-based protein meat substitutes? To myself it sounds way too medical, if not cannibalistic. Don’t know if it would economically compete with plant-based substitutes, not to mention what its packaging might indicate that would commend it to the consummer.

  14. Vi Kingman 2021-07-03

    You may have my portion Cory.
    Now, send me over a REAL steak. :)

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-03

    Sorry, Vi: no steak in my fridge right now. How about a hot dog? :-D

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-03

    Mark! I’m glad the diet change has improved your health, and I’m glad you’re able to find substitutes that keep you happy and healthy.

    There’s something important to remember about alternatives to CAFO meat: we may argue which form of protein is better for the environment, uses less energy and water to produce, etc., but we’re not saying everybody has to eat one and ban the other. Novameat is working on an alternative that may provide tasty alternatives to people like Mark who just can’t risk eating traditional beef, not to mention other people whose hearts may not be facing six bypasses but who’d like to reduce their risk of future illness.

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-07-03

    DaveFN –
    I’m a retired, white table cloth, New American Chef.

    My opinion is no more elevated than yours or anyone else’s but I do have an extensive education in world cuisine.

    Medical and cannibalistic? I don’t see that as a marketing problem. Madison avenue can sell snow shovels in Dubai, given the right motivation

    I see the biggest problem being that a prize steer calf has to be the slaughtered to become a stem cell donor, from which theoretically millions of pounds of blue ribbon beef can be grown.

    Thus, vegetarians won’t be customers.

    People with serious culinary credentials say it tastes exactly like high quality, corn fed beef.

    The issue, which has recently been solved, is texture.

    It’ll be in the meat case within two years. We’ll see.

    I’ll buy stock.

    The benefits are enormous, just not for farmers.

    No grain needed.
    No land needed.
    No ranchers needed.
    World hunger addressed without soy beans.

    They’ll find something to do with all that land, though.

    Maybe grow hemp for clothing?

  18. Porter Lansing 2021-07-03

    Good one, Jerry lol

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