The Future Of Food

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Channel surfing the other day, I stopped on a show called Future Food on the channel Planet Green. The show challenges molecular gastronomists, Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche to “redefine the nature of food” in a way that is better for our environment and health. Usually I wouldn’t stop to watch a show with that type of premise, but if they are cooking good food, then I’m there.

So what is a molecular gastronomist? To put it plainly, from my understanding of it, chemical processes that occur in cooking. Take for an example, a hard boiled egg, how it goes from a raw egg to a cooked egg. Do I know how? No. Do Homaro and Ben know? I would definitely think so.

Homaro and Ben work at Moto in Chicago. I wish that I could say that I have been, but I haven’t, YET! They use innovative techniques in their kitchen from lasers to liquid nitrogen. Their dishes are very surreal from what I have read, they look like one thing, but taste like another. So say, you would order pasta and it looks like pasta, but when you take a bite of it, it actually tastes like a hot dog. For me, I’ve always had mixed feeling about plates like this. One, I think it’s fabulous to bring new techniques into the kitchen if it really adds to or helps the cooking experience whether it’s cutting time off of cooking or bringing new looks or tastes to us. Two, sometimes I wonder what would happen if we started consuming things like liquid nitrogen on a regular basis. Over time, will stuff like this start to affect us physically? Three, unless I’m saving calories, if I want to taste a hot dog, I’ll just buy a regular hot dog.

What was cool about the segment that I caught was that they made junk food out of only using granola bars and superfood drink. So they turned granola bars and superfood drink into chips and salsa, brownies, onion rings (funyun type) and more. Basically you’re eating all of this junkfood, but it’s actually good for you. Now this is something that I can get on board about. The only thing is, I wonder how everything tasted. Overall the food seemed to go over well, but judging by the taster’s facial expressions, it still couldn’t compete with the real thing.

Is it still worth it then?

-Joyce Huang

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