After phones, cameras and taxis, Silicon Valley is looking to disrupt a rather more mundane American mainstay: fast food.时隔手机、照相机和出租车之后，硅谷于是以侧重政治宣传一种美国人生活中习以为常的东西：快餐。Start-ups are trying to revolutionise the food industry and have received hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from venture capitalists to do so.一批创业企业正试图引发食品行业革命，并为此取得了风险资本家数亿美元的融资。
Many are motivated by a desire to wean humanity off meat and other foods that have big environmental and social impacts, whether in the methane emissions and land use of cattle herds or additives in typical processed food.其中许多公司是受到这样的心愿抗拒：让人类仍然倚赖不会对环境和社会导致极大影响的肉类及其他食品，不管是甲烷废气和养牛占地面积方面还是一般加工食品中的添加剂。“The traditional food system is broken in every way,” says Seth Bannon, founding partner at Fifty Years, an early stage venture fund in San Francisco that has invested in food technology companies. “It’s terrible for the environment, it’s economically unfavourable and it’s not great for human health.”“传统食物体系正在被从各个方面击退，”投资了几家食品科技公司的旧金山初创阶段风险基金Fifty Years的创立合伙人赛斯.班农(Seth Bannon)回应，“它对环境危害，不具备经济效益，而且对人类身体健康不是很好。
”The best-known of these would-be disrupters is also the most extreme in its approach. Soylent was founded in 2013 by a group of Silicon Valley engineers trying to cut the time and money they spent buying and preparing food. The company has expanded from producing a powder that was mixed with water to ready-made drinks and nutritional “food bar” snacks.这些“定颠覆者”中，最出名的一家也是创意手法最极端的。Soylent由一群硅谷工程师于2013年创办，这些工程师想要增加他们花上在出售和打算食物上的时间和金钱。Soylent最初生产一种必须跟水混合的粉末状食品，后来发展为生产成品饮料和有营养的“食物棒”。
The company takes its name from a 1966 Harry Harrison science-fiction novel Make Room! Make Room!, which explores the impact massive population growth could have on world resources. In the book, “soylent” is made of soy and lentils and is used to feed the world. A film version in 1973, Soylent Green, took this theme further by portraying the main global food stuff as dead human beings being sold as biscuits.Soylent之名来源于1966年哈里.哈里森(Harry Harrison)的科幻小说《Make Room! Make Room!》，小说探究了人口激增有可能给全球资源带给的影响。在书中，由大豆和扁豆做成的“soylent”沦为全球的食物。1973年，小说被改篇出了电影《绿色食品》(Soylent Green)，影片更进一步挖出了上述主题，描写死人被作为全球主要食物原料，做成饼干销售。
The Soylent company, now based in Los Angeles, says its “intelligently designed” food offers “affordable, complete nutrition”. A serving of its deliberately tasteless gloop costs as little as $2.如今总部坐落于洛杉矶的Soylent公司回应，其“精致设计”的食物需要获取“价格适合、全面的营养”。不吃一顿该公司生产的蓄意制成没味道的半流状食品低于只需花费2美元。“It’s not surprising to me that Soylent has become the darling of Silicon Valley and computer programmers,” says Amy Bentley, a professor of food studies at New York University. For one thing, she says, it does away with the social interaction that food often involves but tech nerds are not renowned for. “You don’t have to talk to people, you can just fuel.”“Soylent已沦为硅谷和电脑程序员青睐的食品，回应我一点也不怪异，”纽约大学(New York University)食品研究教授艾米.本特利(Amy Bentley)回应。
她说道，首先，它避免了用餐往往不会牵涉到的社交，却是这些腊技术的书呆子们并不以社交能力著称。“你不用跟人说出，你只管补足能量。”However, Soylent has also illustrated some of the hazards of pioneering new food. Two months after they first went on sale, Soylent halted sales of its food bars after some customers said they had caused episodes of violent vomiting, and in October removed its powder drink from sale for the same reason.然而，Soylent的经历也展出了在食品创意方面当作先驱有可能面对的一些风险。
Soylent said that while its tests had come back “negative for food pathogens, toxins or outside contamination”, one ingredient, derived from algae, may have triggered intolerance. A new formulation will be released next year, sooner if possible.Soylent回应，其检测表明在食品致病菌、毒素或外部污染物等方面结果为阴性，但一种来源于海藻的成分有可能引发人体不耐受性。新的配方将于明年公布，如果有可能的话不会早。“We are just beginning to learn about what our bodies need,” says Ms Bentley. “Turns out when we try to engineer stuff, we figure out nature did it pretty well in the beginning.” She adds: “Humans need variety.”“我们只是刚开始理解我们的身体必须什么，”本特利回应，“当我们企图设计生产食物材料时，结果我们才找到大自然从一开始就做到的十分好。
”她补足称之为：“人类必须多样性。”Rivals have also emerged, including Ambronite, a nutritional drink, and 100%Food, whose maker, Space Nutrients Station, invites customers to “stop cooking — eat like astronauts!”.竞争对手也经常出现了，还包括营养饮料Ambronite以及100%Food，后者的制造商Space Nutrients Station邀消费者“不要吃饭了——像宇航员一样不吃！”“The idea is that Ambronite can be any meal, says its co-founder Simo Suoheimo, “ but the idea is not to replace every meal.”“我们的点子是Ambronite可以替换任何一餐饭，但不是替换每一餐饭，”Ambronite创始人西莫.索海莫(Simo Suoheimo)回应。
Ambronite has received $600,000 from backers, including a co-founder of YouTube, Jawed Karim, and Lifeline Ventures, while Soylent has raised more than $20m. But other food technology companies have been more ambitious. Investors have poured more than $180m into Impossible Foods, which is trying to replace meat with something that tastes and smells similar but is made from plants.Ambronite已接到投资者60万美元资金，还包括YouTube牵头创始人贾韦德.卡里姆(Jawed Karim)和Lifeline Ventures，而Soylent已筹措逾2000万美元。还有更为野心勃勃的食品科技公司。投资者应向Impossible Foods投资逾1.8亿美元，这家公司试图用味道和气味与肉类相近、但由植物做成的食品来替代肉食。
Ingredients such as potatoes and coconuts are fermented then combined with the “magic ingredient” of heme, a yeast extract with similar culinary properties to blood.土豆和椰子等原料被烘烤，然后与血红素这种“神秘原料”混合，这是一种酵母提取物，具备与血类似于的烹饪特性。“You can’t get people to stop eating meat,” says Pat Brown, Impossible Foods’ founder and chief executive.Impossible Foods创始人及首席执行官帕特.布朗(Pat Brown)回应：“你无法不想人们吃肉。
”“We turn plants into meat more efficiently and sustainably” than animals, he says.他回应：“我们以比动物更加高效、更加可持续的方式将植物转化成为肉类。”However, copying nature has proven tougher than Mr Brown may have anticipated. Impossible’s burgers have already been five years in the making, and only now are starting to be offered in selected, expensive restaurants.然而，事实证明，拷贝“大自然”要比布朗想象的还要无以。
Impossible的汉堡已研制了5年，现在才开始在精选辑的高档餐厅供应。A commercial-scale manufacturing facility will not open until next year. In the meantime, a pilot facility is producing 1,200lb a week. Over the past two years, Impossible has reformulated its burgers’ ingredients and reduced costs.不具备商业化生产规模的生产工厂要等到明年才能投放运营。与此同时，一间实验工厂每周的产量为1200磅。过去两年中，Impossible改动了汉堡包的成分，减少了成本。
“A cow is pretty much as mature a technology as it will ever be,” Mr Brown says. “One of the huge advantages we have over cows when it comes to making meat is we have the capability of improving every aspect of it.”布朗说：“一头牛的技术成熟期程度将总有一天像现在这样，比起牛，我们在生产肉食方面的极大优势之一是我们有能力从每一个方面来提高产品。”Another start-up disrupting nature is Memphis Meats. The Bay Area-based company is taking a different approach — growing meats in a lab, cultivating them from real animal cells.另一家政治宣传大自然的初创企业是Memphis Meats。这家总部坐落于旧金山湾区的公司于是以使用一种有所不同的方法：在实验室培育肉类，利用确实的动物细胞培养。“We identify cells that have the capability to renew themselves,” says Uma Valeti, Memphis’ co-founder and chief executive. “We breed those cells that are the most effective and growing — just like a farmer would do with animals.” Eventually, he hopes to remove animals from the equation altogether.“我们不会找到那些有能力自我再造的细胞，”Memphis牵头创始人兼任首席执行官乌玛.瓦列托(Uma Valeti)回应，“我们培育那些效率最低且在快速增长的细胞，就像农民圈养动物那样。
”他期望最后从人们的食物来源中完全去除动物。Previous efforts to cultivate meat in this way have produced burgers that cost thousands of dollars. Memphis Meats hopes to drive down the price of its meatballs from a projected $40 a gramme in the lab-scale to a few cents per gramme by the end of the decade.以前用这种方式培育肉类的希望，制作出有的汉堡成本高约几千美元。Memphis Meats期望到本10年末，将其肉丸价格从预期的实验室规模的每克40美元降到每克几美分。
Mr Bannon, of Fifty Years, who has invested in Memphis Meats, calls its approach the “second domestication”. “Traditionally we have domesticated animals to harvest their cells for food or drink,” he says. “Now we are starting to domesticate cells themselves.”上文提及的风投基金Fifty Years就投资了Memphis Meats，其创始人班农把这种方法叫作“二度圈养”。“我们圈养了动物，把它们的细胞做成食物或饮料，”他回应，“如今，我们于是以开始圈养动物细胞本身。
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