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(Fox News)   Virginia Tech professor has a process for turning wood chips into food, says he got the idea after having the creamed tuna in the Virginia Tech student union   (foxnews.com) divider line 46
    More: Interesting, Virginia Tech, wood chips, chemical bonds, cellulose, vascular tissues, cell walls, cornstarches, straws  
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2748 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Mar 2014 at 12:21 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-15 12:24:25 PM
Jesus, subby, how old ARE you? Students haven't eaten crappy cafeteria-style food in "the student union" since the '80s. They just have food courts with chain restaurants in them.
 
2014-03-15 12:27:35 PM

mbillips: Jesus, subby, how old ARE you? Students haven't eaten crappy cafeteria-style food in "the student union" since the '80s. They just have food courts with chain restaurants in them.




You beat me to that comment.
 
2014-03-15 12:27:36 PM
pubs.ext.vt.edu
 
2014-03-15 12:27:42 PM
HUH?

www.wildlifehotline.com
 
2014-03-15 12:28:32 PM
Slather anything with copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup and plenty of schmucks will eat it.
 
2014-03-15 12:28:48 PM
I'll give it a shot.
 
2014-03-15 12:31:58 PM
They've had wood in food for years now. How do you think they came up with high fibre bread etc?
 
2014-03-15 12:32:43 PM
Now there's a SF story idea.  GMO modified to make enzymes escapes into the wild and everyone's wood framed houses turn into sugar and dissolve in the rain.
 
2014-03-15 12:35:14 PM
The article says this'll solve world hunger. Not a chance. The world already produces an overabundance of food, particularly in developed regions like the United States. The problem isn't production. The problem is distribution. The reason so many people are starving to death in, for instance, Africa, is because there are warlords with guns that intercept any food we drop in famine-desolated regions. It's essentially the same in NK. The majority of the world has an embargo against them, in protest of how the Kims have treated their subjects. No food imports, the people starve, while their dictators take what little food is left to feast on.
 
2014-03-15 12:36:38 PM
You've been eating wood chips aka cellulose for several decades.

It's used in shredded cheese, ice cream, baked goods, and many other processed foods.  USDA allows up to 3.5% of your food to be sawdust.
 
2014-03-15 12:38:12 PM

MylesHeartVodak: You've been eating wood chips aka cellulose for several decades.

It's used in shredded cheese, ice cream, baked goods, and many other processed foods.  USDA allows up to 3.5% of your food to be sawdust.


I didn't need to know that.
 
2014-03-15 12:41:40 PM
Sometimes they add beef gravy to the creamed tuna  to make "Hokie Surf and Turf".
 
2014-03-15 12:41:47 PM
The food on campus at VT wasn't bad, at least in late 90's.
 
2014-03-15 12:41:58 PM
I did a research project like this too.
 
2014-03-15 12:42:51 PM
My mom was doing this back in the 70's. Well it tasted like she was.
 
2014-03-15 12:43:03 PM

Satanic_Hamster: The food on campus at VT wasn't bad, at least in late 90's.


It was ok then, but they've reheated it a few times over the last 15 years and it's awful.
 
2014-03-15 12:44:21 PM

mbillips: Jesus, subby, how old ARE you? Students haven't eaten crappy cafeteria-style food in "the student union" since the '80s. They just have food courts with chain restaurants in them.


And chain restaurant food is good?
 
2014-03-15 12:45:30 PM
Welcome to Termite Mound, folks.

www.robertreedwriter.com

/obscure enough, I hope.
 
2014-03-15 12:47:04 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: Now there's a SF story idea.  GMO modified to make enzymes escapes into the wild and everyone's wood framed houses turn into sugar and dissolve in the rain.


Need some diabetes in there
 
2014-03-15 12:53:05 PM

Pointy Tail of Satan: HUH?


Nice beaver!
 
2014-03-15 12:53:12 PM
I graduated in 92. Food there was pretty good, actually. Football teams then, not so much.
 
2014-03-15 12:54:39 PM

MylesHeartVodak: You've been eating wood chips aka cellulose for several decades.

It's used in shredded cheese, ice cream, baked goods, and many other processed foods.  USDA allows up to 3.5% of your food to be sawdust.


You can recognize it when it is called cellulose in the ingredients. The recent Taco Bell flap was in part over their use of "oat product" which isn't derived from oat kernels but from husks and stems. I believe it was added for "moisture retention" meaning the product can be made up of more water. That is how bulk producing laxatives such as Metamucil work.
 
2014-03-15 12:58:00 PM
That explains why my "wood steak" tastes like Steve Buscemi.
 
2014-03-15 01:02:05 PM
 
2014-03-15 01:05:35 PM
The Russians figured this out around the seige of Stalingrad.
 
2014-03-15 01:06:27 PM
During WW2 the Brits ate sawdust. There are even old recipe books online on how to make sawdust cakes and breads. Not the tastiest things in the world, but it was food.

Cellulose has been added, in various forms, to processed food for decades. It's used as a cheap filler. One version is basically inert, isn't digested, provides no nutritional value and is similar to the transparent sheets of cellulose that was used to wrap good prior to the invention of plastics. That's powdered and added to some foods again for bulk.

Corn stover has many uses aside from food. These days they convert the stuff into artificial logs for fireplaces, grind it up to add to insulation, mix into fertilizers and a whole bunch more non-food processes. Corn is the primary crop in the US that is used from the 'fruit' to the roots.

Which is why food prices soared when it was decided to use it to produce fuel instead of the many secondary, less important vegetables -- and inedible yard and land clearing waste. (A local alcohol fuel plant here contracts for the bulk yard-type land clearing waste along with yard cuttings from several counties to make fuel, no food involved.)

Most farmers, after harvest, tend to plow the no longer productive crops back into the soil to keep the soil enriched.

Relic84

The world already produces an overabundance of food, particularly in developed regions like the United States. The problem isn't production. The problem is distribution. The reason so many people are starving to death in, for instance, Africa, is because there are warlords with guns that intercept any food we drop in famine-desolated regions. It's essentially the same in NK. The majority of the world has an embargo against them, in protest of how the Kims have treated their subjects. No food imports, the people starve, while their dictators take what little food is left to feast on

Absolutely correct. We've donated millions of tons of food to starving nations, only to have the corrupt governments grab the majority for themselves, much of which they sold to other nations to buy luxuries and weapons. In some places, rebel warlords denied charities to drop food to starving civilians, preferring to let them starve.

There is a long, long list of goods sent to help starving people, where the stuff never reached them due to their own governments grabbing it up or rebel fighters stealing as much of it as possible.
 
2014-03-15 01:11:02 PM
The West End at Tech is considered one of the best dining halls on the east coast. The food and varies between all the dining hall, but none of it is actually bad. Most of it is quite good.

/class of 03
 
2014-03-15 01:12:02 PM
Solve world hunger?  Please, it will be used to make alcohol, period.  The vats they use are 80% the way to beer vats anyway.
 
2014-03-15 01:21:06 PM
I don't understand where the breakthrough is here. Is he really the first person to go: oh, we can just add celluase to cellulose!

Cause it sounds like he solves the wood chips and switchgrass ethanol problem and it also allows the whole of the plant to be edible. Which seem impressive. But the step it took to get there seems trivial.
 
2014-03-15 01:30:35 PM

maverickzy: The West End at Tech is considered one of the best dining halls on the east coast. The food and varies between all the dining hall, but none of it is actually bad. Most of it is quite good.

/class of 03


I worked there back in 1999
 
2014-03-15 01:33:06 PM

rkiller1: Satanic_Hamster: The food on campus at VT wasn't bad, at least in late 90's.

It was ok then, but they've reheated it a few times over the last 15 years and it's awful.


Owens food court...1995...Philly cheese steaks ftw!!
 
2014-03-15 01:48:05 PM

axlmed: Owens food court...1995...Philly cheese steaks ftw!!


Man, when I started there (1980), they didn't even have salad bars in the dining halls. Owens, Dietrich, Schulz, all served the same thing, and it was seriously lowest-common-denominator institutional food. The signature piece was probably the Hawaiian Jim -- a slice of ham loaf, a slice of cheap Swiss, and a slice of canned pineapple, all on a stale white bun.

I do remember going back for fourths or fifths on the pork chops, though. Oh, to regain that teenage metabolism.
 
2014-03-15 01:59:16 PM
The Virginia Tech professor in question, working on the process:

static2.businessinsider.com

something something soylent something something, yah, sure, you betcha!
 
2014-03-15 02:15:17 PM

sdd2000: mbillips: Jesus, subby, how old ARE you? Students haven't eaten crappy cafeteria-style food in "the student union" since the '80s. They just have food courts with chain restaurants in them.

And chain restaurant food is good?


Pizza Hut may not be gourmet pizza, but it's not "shiat on a shingle" or mystery meat stew.  (I think part of the problem back then was that prior to about 1970, American food in general was terrible, and prior to the 80's, the average student was too poor to eat fast food all the time.)
 
2014-03-15 02:17:57 PM
Ah yes. I'll take a number four wood chip special and a side of dirt please.
 
2014-03-15 02:25:59 PM

Relic84: The article says this'll solve world hunger. Not a chance. The world already produces an overabundance of food, particularly in developed regions like the United States. The problem isn't production. The problem is distribution.


+1 Internets to you! But, although this guy is no Norman Borlaug, I'd say this is a pretty neat step in the right direction. Geopolitical contributions to the world food problem (follow the "find in a library" link to the left, if interested) will stand in the way of most scientific breakthroughs that try to solve world hunger. But, it's nice to know that people are still getting ready in the wings.
 
2014-03-15 02:49:55 PM
I seem to remember a 80's SF (the Destines paperback book format magazine) where the climax was helping world hunger with a sauce developed from termite enzymes.

/the googles, they do nothing
 
2014-03-15 02:57:49 PM
Last I heard we already produce more food in the US than we could ever hope to eat, do we really need to be eating trees? Not to mention that the examples mentioned, corn stalks and wood chips, are already used, it's not like they're simply thrown away.

Corn stalks are either used in feed or simply plowed back into the ground, adding organic matter and nutrients for next seasons crop. As far as wood chips, there are so many engineered wood products on the market that no part of a tree is wasted.
 
2014-03-15 03:36:31 PM

Rik01: During WW2 the Brits ate sawdust. There are even old recipe books online on how to make sawdust cakes and breads. Not the tastiest things in the world, but it was food.


Came in here to mention this. It's hardly a new development.
 
2014-03-15 04:20:55 PM

MylesHeartVodak: You've been eating wood chips aka cellulose for several decades.

It's used in shredded cheese, ice cream, baked goods, and many other processed foods.  USDA allows up to 3.5% of your food to be sawdust.


^ This.

Someone tell him he's late to the party...

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-15 05:37:24 PM
As a recent Virginia Tech graduate, I'd like to point out that our food was ranked #1 in the nation my freshman year.  Last I heard, we were #3 behind a couple small private schools.  So no wood chips for us... though I'm sure that would have been healthier than stuff I used to get at midnight at DX.
 
2014-03-15 06:12:33 PM
Ugh - when you have to feed them wood it sucks... But the worst rounds are when you have to feed them stone or gold.
 
2014-03-15 08:15:52 PM

Relic84: The article says this'll solve world hunger. Not a chance. The world already produces an overabundance of food, particularly in developed regions like the United States. The problem isn't production. The problem is distribution.


I'm glad you beat me to it. We throw away enough to feed millions.


The reason so many people are starving to death in, for instance, Africa, is because there are warlords with guns that intercept any food we drop in famine-desolated regions.

We should send in troops. Seriously: if the USA going to keep being an empire, and it is, be a force for good. And I don't mean an undermanned charity mission like Somalia, I mean a full-scale conquest. Show up, wipe out the warlords' armies, and open up open-air cafeterias to show off our understanding of the local cuisine. FFS there's a West African restaurant here in Lexington, KY, and Ethiopian restaurants in Louisville, and between them NYC and L.A. have to have at least one restaurant from every geographical region or major nationality. It should be possible for everybody who wants to to see that we can feed them like their "royalty" eat, that under US administration everybody will get meat in their rice.
 
2014-03-15 10:36:46 PM
1990 VT grad... BS forest resource mgmt.

Food sucked when I was there. Dietrich was the best but it was a low bar.

We didn't have a student union when I was there. It was the squires student center and it was closed for part of my time for remodeling.
 
2014-03-16 03:14:45 AM

The One True TheDavid: Relic84: The article says this'll solve world hunger. Not a chance. The world already produces an overabundance of food, particularly in developed regions like the United States. The problem isn't production. The problem is distribution.

I'm glad you beat me to it. We throw away enough to feed millions.


The reason so many people are starving to death in, for instance, Africa, is because there are warlords with guns that intercept any food we drop in famine-desolated regions.

We should send in troops. Seriously: if the USA going to keep being an empire, and it is, be a force for good. And I don't mean an undermanned charity mission like Somalia, I mean a full-scale conquest. Show up, wipe out the warlords' armies, and open up open-air cafeterias to show off our understanding of the local cuisine. FFS there's a West African restaurant here in Lexington, KY, and Ethiopian restaurants in Louisville, and between them NYC and L.A. have to have at least one restaurant from every geographical region or major nationality. It should be possible for everybody who wants to to see that we can feed them like their "royalty" eat, that under US administration everybody will get meat in their rice.


You're a heck of an idea man, no snark. I'm not one for meddling, but while we're doing it anyhow, let's do it your way.
 
2014-03-16 06:02:37 PM

Relic84: The article says this'll solve world hunger. Not a chance. The world already produces an overabundance of food, particularly in developed regions like the United States. The problem isn't production. The problem is distribution. The reason so many people are starving to death in, for instance, Africa, is because there are warlords with guns that intercept any food we drop in famine-desolated regions. It's essentially the same in NK. The majority of the world has an embargo against them, in protest of how the Kims have treated their subjects. No food imports, the people starve, while their dictators take what little food is left to feast on.


We also have enormous amounts of amylose on hand. It's not very digestible--often used as a thickener in highly-processed foods.
 
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