Vincent’s steak arrived, it was a beautiful T-bone, served with steamed broccoli, and a baked potato with butter, sour cream and bacon. As Vincent was about to take his first bite of the steak he looked up again at the spectacular view in front of him. Through the huge windows he could see the Earth hanging over the Lunar plain, and while it was hard to tell it looked like dusk was falling back home in North Carolina.
It was August of 2068 and Vincent was having dinner in the Earthlight Room of the Luna City Hilton. The meal he was eating was made with real meat, fresh vegetables, and real butter and sour cream. The vegetables had been grown on the moon, and nothing had been brought up from Earth.
Around the turn of the century scientists had started working on growing meat in the laboratory. Eventually that research led to being able to make hamburgers that were made with real meat, but without the need for cattle.
It took a while, but by 2020 factory produced ground beef was hitting the market, followed very shortly by ground pork, chicken and turkey.
After some initial reluctance the products took off. They were cheaper than conventionally produced meats, healthier and were much more environmentally friendly.
But people still wanted their pork chops, steaks, and roasts, so the scientists kept working.
In the 1980’s work had begun on 3D printing, and early in the new century 3D printers started becoming commercially available.
In the 2010s 3D food printers started showing up on the market, devices such as the ChefJet and Foodini, which could print things like fancy desserts and even pizzas.
By the late 2020s the technologies started to converge, first with 3D printed pork loins and beef roasts. Experiments were tried making steaks with ceramic or plastic bones but consumers (and their dogs) didn’t like them.
Meanwhile the medical industry had been working on 3D printing real bones for implanting into humans. Food scientists adapted that technology and by 2025 the first commercially successful factory made steaks hit the market.
In the mid 21st century humans started getting serious about going into space, driven at first by the need to harvest Helium 3 from the Moon. Naturally it made sense to produce as much food as possible in space rather than bring it up from Earth so food factories were set up on the Moon. In addition to making the meats Vincent enjoyed the Moon’s food vats also produce large quantities of milk, cheese and other dairy products, even ice cream.
Vincent didn’t think much about any of that, he just enjoyed his meal and the view, and made sure to keep the bone for his dog.
*The technologies described here are real, future dates, and of course Luna City are conjectures.