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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Yeast-Culture Vats  
  Using cultured yeast as the basis for food production.  

He watched R. Daneel leave, then said to Clousarr, "You're a chemist?"

"I'm a zymologist, if you don't mind."

"What's the difference?"

Clousan looked lofty. "A chemist is a soup-pusher, a stink- operator. A zymologist is a man who helps keep a few billion people alive. I'm a yeast-culture specialist."

"All right," said Baley.

But Clousarr went on, "This laboratory keeps New York Yeast going. There isn't one day, not one damned hour, that we haven't got cultures of every strain of yeast in the company growing in our kettles. We check and adjust the food factor requirements. We make sure it's breeding true. We twist the genetics, start the new strains and weed them out, sort out their properties and mold them again.

"When New Yorkers started getting strawberries out of season a couple of years back, those weren't strawberries, fella. Those were a special high-sugar yeast culture with true-bred color and just a dash of flavor additive. It was developed right here in this room.

From Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Galaxy in 1953
Additional resources -

Compare to the yeast steak (1950) from The Evitable Conflict, by Isaac Asimov, the chlorella plantation (1952) from The Space Merchants, by Frederik Pohl (w/CM Kornbluth), protine 1955 from Solar Lottery, by Philip K. Dick and the crop algae (1957) from Cities in Flight, by James Blish

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Caves of Steel
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Caves of Steel
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

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