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Designer Biohacking: At the Intersection of Building Food and Optimizing Health

An Edible Growth prototype. Image credit: Chloé Rutzerveld

What happens when a highly skilled designer focuses on food? In the case of Chloe Rutzerveld, who is based in the Netherlands, she set up a food concept and design business that focuses on everything from designer biohacking of food to 3D-printed food concepts. Her Edible Growth project focuses on combining aspects of design, science and technology to make our food more efficient, healthy and sustainable.

According to Munchies: “Using layers of edible plants, seeds, spores, and other microorganisms, Edible Growth creates intricate small meals that combine living mushrooms and greens with the mechanization of the most industrialized foods. In a nutshell, the Edible Growth products are composed of a nutritious base, or ‘edible matrix,’ of nuts, fruits, agar, and protein (which can even come from insects) that are extruded by a 3D printer. That matrix becomes the soil, more or less, for sprouting seeds, yeasts, beneficial bacteria, and mushroom spores to grow in over the course of five days. Finally, there’s a crust layer composed of carbohydrates and more protein, to hold everything else like a little superfood pastry.”

Here, you can see some of these concepts. The emerging field of food-focused “designer biohacking” also runs down to more basic, structural engineering of food and beverages, though. For example, The Odin is a company focused on “consumer genetic design” that sells kits for making green, fluorescent beer. The beer is based on a protein found in jellyfish that can be engineered into yeast. Customers execute this conversion themselves and the yeast can also be used to hack and morph champagne.

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