"What if you could have mom's homemade apple pie sent via e-mail and printed up at home?" posed Chef Homaro Cantu in a BBC article about Cornell University's Computational Synthesis Lab, which is building a 3D food printer. Indeed, what if?
You hate to make fun of Chef Cantu, after all, he's doing fun things at his restaurant in Chicago, Moto. And you don't want to be the culinary Luddite someone pokes fun at 25 years from now for being a naysayer — there must have been someone putting down toasters and microwaves. Sure, maybe a 3D food printer could reduce waste and feed starving populations. But what happened to the good old days of university study? Where research proved that bacon cures hangovers?
It makes you think, besides Dr. Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine, which is supposed to revolutionize cooking, what other plans for future food technology are there out there? The big think stuff beyond self-heating packaging and self-cooling cans. Aren't we just four years away from mixing banana peels and Miller Lite in a Mr. Fusion on the back of a DeLorean? Oh, wait, there is bio-diesel! No! The future is here!
Forget the hospital IV this conjures. Foodtubes are "lightweight underground, rapid pipeline-capsule food and freight transport." They're underground tubes as thick as a truck wherein capsules move at 60 mph to transport food. "A world where you no longer have to go grocery shopping," noted Coolest Gadgets. Still waiting on the 2nd Avenue subway. It's called Fresh Direct.
BIOPOLYMER GEL REFRIGERATOR
A smaller, unconventional fridge featuring a non-sticky, odorless gel you stick your food into until you're ready to eat. Han Solo at the beginning of Jedi meets getting slimed on You Can't Do That on Television, on a wall.
This riffs off the two previous 'advances' in food transport and storage technology. A fridge that smacks of Star Trek replication and teleportation. The Teleport Fridge uses "touchscreen technology to build the interface for the teleportation method which is effective and user friendly." Just like FoodParc!
"To produce animal meat, but without using an animal. Starting cells are taken painlessly from live animals, they are put into a culture media where they start to proliferate and grow, independently from the animal." Shades of Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. How divorced from the food chain are we supposed to get?
It sounds good. Milk tastes like cola! Mayonnaise is lower in calories because oil is on the outside of water droplets! "You taste a normal mayonnaise, but what you eat has much less fat." Yay! Then you hear the potential dangers...dun, dun, dun...carbon nanotubes, a basic building block of nanotechnology, can PENETRATE your genetic material! What were those creatures in H.G. Wells' The Time Machine? The Morlocks? Yup.