"A meat-eater with a bicycle is much more environmentally unfriendly than a vegetarian with a Hummer."
--Dr Mark Post
The world's largest food concern, Unilever, has opened a new research lab at the world's most prestigious agricultural university, the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands).
Unilever will locate all elements of its foods R&D there. A spokeswoman on Dutch radio stressed plant-based meat alternatives as an important research subject.
Wageningen University has strong credentials in that respect, with the development of shear cell technology.
Shear cell technology strings plant proteins together in tightly controlled fibers, resulting in a meat substitute where texture (fibrousness, bite, mouthfeel) can easily be controlled, and changed at will. This, combined with 3D food printing, offers the possibility of creating multiple meat (substitute) variations in future.
Unilever's food campus is open to startups, innovators and partners. One of the first to have build its own lab on the same grounds is Symrise, an industrial flavours and scents group.
About half of Dutch people call themselves 'flexitarians'. This means that they don't eat meat with their main meal at least three times a week. The proportion of vegetarians is stable, at just under five percent of the Dutch population.
Wageningen researchers believe, however, that feeding 9 billion people with animal meat will not be sustainable for the planet.
Don't get hung up on the hippie free love bit. It was just an example at the other extreme from a regimented society.I used ejection because I meant removal from the group, which is a bit more than a simple eviction for not paying the rent. And we were discussing this in the context of Oath of Fealty, which was about an arcology near LA. This isn't a space ship, where did you get a really hostile oxygen-free environment from?
Oath of Fealty was the local context, but the larger context was habitats in extremely harsh environmental circumstances. Oath of Fealty was just an example of a fiction which detailed many of the problems inherent in ANY large ecology.
FWIW, I expect they'll be too expensive to justify except in extreme conditions. For reasons which are implicit in the story. But the social system depicted in the story would not function in such conditions...so my reiteration that part of what we need is much better sociology. Yes, it's got difficult feedback cycles in it, many of them instigated because those making decisions will tend to make decisions that favor themselves in the relatively short term even at the cost of social stability.
At one point I lived for a few years in a smallish (but nice) apartment that was on top of a shopping centre. There were about 40 apartments, and even though there was no direct access to the shops it was very convenient (you had to go out on the street and back in a different keyed entry to the apartments). It was very different to living in a house in the suburbs, and I can see the appeal for living in an arcology. It's not for me long term, but there were aspects of it I liked.
You're right about the sociology, and the attitudes of the inhabitants being critical. A community with a guarded wall might be a sanctuary or a prison. It depends on the people, the guards, and the direction of the guarding. That was even in the book - the bit about the drunk businessman holding it together until he could get past the city cops who would arrest him, and into the arcology where the cops would help him get home.