Advancements in food technology: Would you be willing to eat your own poop or 3D printed insects?
|The Nordic Food Lab's ceviche recipe made with bee larvae (The Nordic Food Lab)|
|Blood and egg share many similar properties (The Nordic Food Lab)|
|Performance's pureed foods|
There are two main advantages of food printing. The first is the ability to individually tailor foods to contain the desired amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Ensuring that everyone ingests a personalized amount of calories and nutrients could help people more easily maintain weight and improve health. The second advantage is that as the “ink” used consists of capsules filled with powders or oils, alternative sources of nutrients can be explored.
|The look and smell of a cookie changes our taste perception (Munchies Vice).|
However, what if we combine all of these technologies to produce a healthier food supply system and improve our eating habits? Instead of feeding people worms or bloody hearts, we could subtract their compounds and print them into more visually pleasing shapes, or create virtual reality experiences in which people are trained to associate unknown or unusual food substances with tastiness or pleasure. These food productions are not more artificial than the highly processed foods we ingest now, filled with sugar substitutes, antibiotics and preservatives. Moreover, 3D printed objects could be combined with the insertion of live organisms to create fresh foods that can be grown in the consumer’s own home (see for instance Chloé Rutzerveld's edible growth project).
What all of these initiatives have in common is to bring food production and consumption closer to home. By obtaining food resources from our own printer or actual bodies we can reduce the environmental and economic impact of food transportation and exportation, generate less waste and have healthier diets. “The only truly responsible course of action is to take our diets fully into our own hands and directly out of our rectums (Josh Evans for Munchies Vice).” Until then, we can sit back and enjoy a beer made from Amsterdam’s rainwater or a gin distilled from weeds harvested in the city of Gent.
Botero-Murphy, Bianca. (2016, January 28). Can 3D printing helps us to eat healthier? Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/hub/ct-us-chamber-3d-printing-healthier-eating-bsi-hub-20160128-story.html