Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Future of Food

After World Fusion diets, after everyone has tasted every yummy nibble from every culture on earth, after everyone has been a locavore and dined on deconstructed menus, what will we eat?

We may run out of new things to try and ways to try them.

Imagine genetically re-engineering the tongue to create new taste buds and re-engineering the nose to smell a new fragrance.

Imagine a diet of unsalted tofu combined with brain waves from a gadget behind your ear that gives you a thrill with every chew and sip...

Imagine people signing on to identity diets to define their culture and affiliation, subordinating taste to messaging.

Christmas 1941 at the White House
How fancy can you get? Thin Toast?

The menus of my youth have disappeared.  Lettuce didn't have a name. Now it's Iceberg, along with Romaine, Arugula, Radicchio, Butter and many more.  
Coffee was coffee.  Now every restaurant offers a half dozen choices and the grocery store may have over a hundred.  My aunt would use boiled eggs, pickled beets, potatoes, carrots, and canned meat in the winter.  Now I buy blueberries, mangoes, fresh scallops and salmon, crisp apples and croissants when the snow is flying.  Dining out, you need a second language to decode the French and Italian on the menu. A hundred years ago, a feast might have "boiled potatoes", "roast beef"  "carrots" but each nibble in a nice restaurant now is burdened with a pedigree of five or six foreign adjectives and ornately presented with coloured stripes and towered shapes.  It's fun but it can only go so far.

Will food be boring?
Will we always forget enough from Monday to Friday that we can taste our corn flakes again for the very first time on Saturday?
Will we deceive our brains into believing every bite is great?
Will we engineer new tongues and noses?
Will little green men from Arcturus bring goodies that'll put us in a fine food tizzy?

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