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Have you ever wanted to grow your own food inside your home?

Scientists in Finland have developed a device that may do just that.

It lacks soil and does not look like a normal vegetable garden. But, the small device, called the Cell Pod, grows edible plant cells in the home.

Lauri Reuter is a biologist with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He says that instead of using the complete plant as food, scientists take only a small part of it – cells – and grow them in a bio-reactor. These plants have much of the same nutritional value that a real plant has.

The edible plant cells, once fully grown, do not look very good. The Finnish researchers say they also need to improve the taste.

However, the Cell Pod can provide important vitamins and antioxidants, which are substances that help your body to be healthy.

Lauri Reuter adds that the new technology will not replace fields for growing fruits and vegetables. However, the Cell Pod can help people eat foods that are hard to find or that cannot be made in a sustainable way. In other words, the device could help save natural resources.

All you would need to do is add the seed culture to the device, sit back and then wait.

Reuter says the seed culture looks a lot like a very small container filled with coffee. You put it into the device and give it water. The machine does the rest of the work.

The researchers hope to have a version of the Cell Pod on the market in the next 10 years.

I’m John Russell.

Kevin Enochs reported on this story for VOANews.com. John Russell adapted this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

edible – adj. suitable or safe to eat

nutritional – adj. eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy

antioxidant – n. a substance that is added to food and other products to prevent harmful chemical reactions in which oxygen is combined with other substances

sustainable – adj. able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed

culture – n. the process of growing living material is a prepared mixture

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