- Mass-Free Food
The next generation of dieter's food beyond "fat-free"
is "mass-free". These will be extremely light but strong
edible structures made from freeze-dried agarose, the world's lightest
solid material. The material is colored, flavored, and texturized
to resemble bread, baked potato, etc. A "mass-free" hamburger
on a bun will weigh only 1 gram. Don't put mustard or ketchup (preferred
IUPAC nomenclature over "catsup") on it, because the water
they contain will break down the structure of the freeze-dried agarose.
Direct brain-implant/virtual-reality technology will let people
experience animal eating experiences. For example, you could directly
experience what a cat feels when it catches and eats a mouse. Restaurants
will specialize in particular eating experiences, for example they
might have a yard populated by rabbits and a set of falcons. Or a
large aquarium and some piranha.
- Snack Food
In early 21st century, the most popular snack food will be Nacho
Critters edible robots by Nabisco. Based mostly on a wheat-corn alloy,
fried in zero-calorie non-fat vegetable shortening, these are little
crisp chips shaped like gingerbread men, but only about 1 1/4 inches
tall (that's 2.733 decihectares, for our Canadian friends). When you
open the bag, the sudden exposure to oxygen activates their neural
circuitry and locomotive machinery which permits them to walk around
for a few minutes. Open the bag, and they slowly walk out, then proceed
in random directions. Left to themselves, it creates a real mess because
they get into everything! Then they "die", which causes
problems if you got ants. It's fun to put the critters in a big jar
with a stopper on it and watch them crawl over each other trying to
get out! Dogs and cats love Nacho Critters!
- Genetically Engineered Food
Soon it will be possible to transfer genetic material between
completely different animals. The dream of a cow that gives chocolate
milk is fast approaching reality. How will this boon be used? Probably
we'll make many of the same combinations we do today in convenience
foods for the microwave, except the food would be grown in a pre-mixed,
ready-to-eat condition. Instead of buying frozen, you'll buy live!
It'll taste much better than frozen because it'll be real fresh, the
animal not actually dying until about 30 seconds after you hit START
on the microwave. You won't ever have to worry about your Chicken
Cordon Bleu leaking, because it won't have a seam. Advertising jingles
can be genetically programmed into the brains of food. Just stick
the food in the oven, and in the last few seconds you hear "M'mm
m'mm good, m'mm m'mm good, Campbell's ChickeAAAACK!"
- Cooking Shows
Advanced molecular replication technology will allow you to smell,
taste, and even sample the food seen on cooking shows. They may also
be used so that members of the audience can interact with the chef,
sending him samples of their own recipes. And you can enjoy the same
meal over and over again, just by popping the same tape in the TV.
The TV and microwave oven are likely to converge into a single unit,
responsible for both food and entertainment.
- Food Scares
The one disease completely untreatable by advanced medical technology
is hypochondria. The sick minds that invent food scares like the recent
Alar hoax will need to become more sophisticated. For example, there
will be rumors of software bombs implanted in food programming. These
would range from just causing a case of gas, to making someone sick,
to programming all the food animals to rise up at one time and take
control of society.
- Reuseable Food
A food flavor delivery system, consisting of a texture unit and
rate-controlled flavor agent releasing system. It's sort of like a
big piece of chewing gum, except the texture will be programmable
(e.g., chewy like jerky, delicate and brittle like baklava, tender
like meat). The flavor will also be programmable, by releasing different
flavors in unique combinations. In fact, the flavor and texture can
change while you're chewing it, so a complete meal with many courses
can be enjoyed without even removing the device from your mouth.