Why can't we synthesize the nutrients that we need directly from chemical reactions, from energy and simple inorganic molecules found around us? If it's hard, why not try to copy how plants do it?
I feel like growing plants is very inefficient: it is consuming a lot of energy for intermediate steps that may not be required – growing roots or inedible parts, performing reproduction, consuming soil and space, requiring constant light and irrigation... And huge amounts of energy is invested to slightly compensate for these caveats and increase productivity, while it still looks like an inefficient way of doing synthesis of nutrients and other compounds we need to eat. Is there a reason that such resources are not directed to building processes to perform such synthesis via other – hopefully more efficient – means than growing plants/animals?
Note that I found a partial answer there, however I was not satisfied by an unexplained "photosynthesis is the only viable way to create material that can yield those nutrients".
Is photosynthesis that hard? If that so, why?
If it's so hard using organic chemistry, why cannot we simply extract/mimic the biological reactions happening in the plants to generate nutrients? (we still don't need to grow whole plants)
If we are not able to do that, what does it means about our current understanding/mastery of chemistry and biology ?