Growing up, the future of food as imagined by Saturday morning cartoons looked something like: put pill on plate, add drop of water and watch as Thanksgiving dinner magically appears. Though we might not be quite there yet, it’s hard not wonder what eating and cooking will resemble further down the road, particularly given the booming population that is increasingly moving to urban areas coupled with limitations on resources and space. Will there still be meals comprised of distinguishable ingredients or just some blended cocktail of nutrients and flavors topped off with a dollop artful foam?
While we sincerely hope the fate of food doesn’t lie somewhere in the nexus between molecular gastronomy meets KFC Famous Bowls, the Food Printer (shown in the video below) sees the future of cooking as rapid prototyping at the push of a button. The resulting meals are a fully customizable combination of ingredients formed into abstract shapes.
Image credit: Getty Images, Jun Fujwara/Flickr
Building on the shift towards real time, personal health care and the growing field of telemedicine – the world’s first wireless pacemaker was successfully implanted last week – the Nutrition Monitor could provide users with updates on their dietary needs through a sensor that is swallowed. An additional device scans food to determine nutritional values, suggesting food choices and quantities to optimize health.
With much of the discussion around food centering on questions of how and where it’s raised, notions of self-sufficiency and sustainability are very much a part of the conversation now. While we’re witnessing a renewed commitment to localized farming, particularly scaled to small, urban spaces, the Biosphere Home Farm brings that practice indoors. Moving beyond the idea of raising only plants, the farm concept creates an entire mini-ecosystem instead, complete with fish, crustaceans, algae and plants.
It’s interesting to note that as “futuristic” as these innovations might be, they’re well-grounded in emerging trends that we’re seeing in our research. And while they aren’t yet plausible, they’re probably only an advance or two away from reality. But as with most technologies, making them available on the consumer level will pose the biggest challenge. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy good, old-fashioned food while we still can.