Captain Shatner wrote:
Several people have pointed out that "replicators" did not exist in TOS. "Food synthesizer," if you will.
According to TMOST
The enormous sophistication of computers aboard the Enterprise makes possible the producing of the thousand best menus of the thousand best restaurants in all the alien planets of the Federation. Crew members can select an infinite variety of food -- they simply press the button. From the central food preparation area, the selection is transferred via a small turbo lift that connects the several dining and recreation areas scattered throughout the ship.
. . . In order to support this food preparation capability, the Enterprise has extensive food storage areas with preservation techniques that maintain food in "garden-fresh condition" over extended periods of time. Hydroponic food growing is not necessary and would use a disproportionate amount of manpower . . . There is also a section where crew members can prepare individual dishes if they wish -- an activity that comes under the heading of "recreation."
So starships in the TOS era don't have replicators or even "food synthesizers" -- just enormous food storage pantries and walk-in refrigerators and a dumbwaiter system. Rather primitive thinking, really.
And in "Tomorrow is Yesterday," why did the transporter room
have a food slot in the wall?
I think the main problem is going to be that dilithium just can't be replicated. It's a magic rock with magical properties, and replicating it is going to require too much something or other. The ability to replicate dilithium from scratch would ruin too many Star Trek stories.
This. Dilithium crystals are a valuable and easily portable item that can be bought, sold, bargained for, smuggled or stolen. They're Star Trek