By Aaron Pressman
December 20, 2017

This article first appeared in Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. Sign up here.

Maybe it’s because I have vacation on the brain that I keep coming back to the topic that everything old is new again. NOTHING will replace the good old-fashioned resting I plan to do for the next two weeks.

So let me draw your attention for a moment to a wonderful piece of journalism from the last issue of Fortune about a reinvention of an old idea: fake meat. Fortune’s Beth Kowitt, one the country’s finest commerce-of-the-culinary writers, dove deep into the technology industry’s ultra-expensive quest to replace the kinds of food that once belonged to a breathing animal’s body with “meat” either grown in a lab or smooshed together from plants.

That this is a big deal isn’t necessarily about ethics. Emissions from livestock, Kowitt reports, are responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gases. Moreover, she elegantly writes, “animals .. are lousy tools for converting matter into muscle tissue. Cows require a whopping 26 pounds of feed for every one pound of edible meat produced. In a culture obsessed with high performance”—she’s referring here to Silicon Valley—“that is maddeningly wasteful.”

There’s a fundamental problem with each of the approaches technologists are pursuing. The petri-dish technique hasn’t worked yet, and “meats” made from plants inevitably taste like plants. The article has far more detail about the people and companies pursuing this unlikely dream. It’s a delicious tale. (I couldn’t resist.)

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Have you wondered about all the consolidation in the semiconductor industry of late? Aaron has. See the nifty chart he and Fortune graphics editor Nicolas Rapp created to illustrate it.
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Finally, some old things don’t become new. They just die. I originally missed the news that Comcast (cmcsa) is shutting Plaxo, which had a brief moment several cycles ago at being the contact-management system of the future. The future doesn’t always arrive.

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