Future foods both real an imagined
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Future foods both real an imagined

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A talk on 'Future Foods' both real and imagined. Which explores the glimpses of food from the futre in sci-fi films, contrasted with the reality of what is around and available to use today.

A talk on 'Future Foods' both real and imagined. Which explores the glimpses of food from the futre in sci-fi films, contrasted with the reality of what is around and available to use today.

Presented at Pecha Kucha as part of Brighton Science Festival 2011

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Future foods both real an imagined Future foods both real an imagined Document Transcript

  • Presenting: Future Food - Real & Imagined PechaKucha March 2011 E: hello@olishaw.com T: @olishaw W olishaw.comHi  I’m  Oli  Shaw.I’m  not  a  food  scien6st,  I’m  more  of  a  culture  explorer  employing  techniques  from  anthropology  and  sociology  to  see  how  we  live  day  to  day  and  the  things  we  do  and  what  we  use.  Which  brings  me  on  to  food,  one  of  the  3  basic  survival  necessi6es;  Food,  Shelter,  Warmth.  
  • Spoilers & StomachsI’ve  always  been  a  fan  of  science  fic6on  geFng  glimpses  in  to  possible  futures,  and  one  of  the  things  that  fascinated  me  most  in  sc-­‐fi  is  the  food.In  this  talk  I’m  exploring  the  imagined  food  of  science  fic6on  and  the  reality  of  the  foods  that  are  available  and  we  eat  today.The  talk  will  contain  some  film  spoilers,  sorry  about  that.  I  also  I  hope  you  have  strong  stomachs.
  • Sleeper (1973)In  the  1973  Film  Sleepers  there  is  a  scene  where  when  scavenging  for  food  Woody  Allen  finds  a  future  farm  with  oversized  fruit  and  vegetables…  Oh  and  there’s  also  a  giant  chicken...
  • The  technology  to  gene6cally  modify  animals  and  vegetables  has  been  around  for  some  6me,  there  is  a  lot  of  cau6on  around  using  it  on  animals,  such  as  the  Salmon  eggs  which  was  in  the  news  last  summer,  there  are  lesser  qualms  about  modifying  fruit  and  vegetables.In  China  they  sent  a  load  of  seeds  into  space  and  when  they  returned  grew  them  into  giant  ‘space  veg’,  they  needed’t  have  gone  to  all  that  trouble  UK  allotment  owners  have  been  doing  that  for  their  village  fetes  for  years.
  • Waterworld (1995)In  the  1995  film  Waterworld  the  sea’s  have  risen  and  drinkable  water  is  a  rare  commodity  and  a  valued  currency,  as  a  result  its  possible  to  use  an  osmosis  machine  to  convert  urine  into  drinking  water.They  dont  really  explain  why  you  cant  just  convert  the  sea  water,  but  we  can  only  assume  that  drinking  converted  pee  makes  for  a  beWer  film.
  • So  on  the  topic  of  drinking  urine,  the  US  military  have  developed  the  technology  to  have  meal  re-­‐hydrated  by  using  urine,  the  ra6onal  is  that  water  accounts  for  a  large  amount  of  the  weight  in  a  back  pack,  by  reducing  he  water  content  solider  can  carry  less.They  dont  say  its  only  pee  that  will  do  it,  its  designed  so  any  kind  of  water,  muddy  or  otherwise  will  be  purified  enough  to  rehydrate  food.Also  the  same  technology  is  being  tested  for  aid  supplies  to  disaster  sites  where  the  same  problem  of  the  weight  of  distribu6ng  drinkable  water  is  an  issue.And  in  India  cow  urine  is  a  healthy  alterna6ve  to  cola...apparently
  • Back to the future II (1989)In  the  1989  film:  Back  to  the  Future  2  we  see  a  glimpse  into  the  year  2015  where  Black  an  Decker  have  made  a  Food  re-­‐hydrator  /  microwave.  A  fantas6cal  device  where  you  put  in  a  foil  sealed  pizza  and  in  just  a  few  seconds  out  comes  a  pizza  as  fresh  and  hot  as  from  any  pizzeria.
  • Despite  all  the  advances  by  the  Space  programs  of  the  world,  re-­‐hydra6on  on  this  scale  hasn’t  yet  been  achieved,  yet  in  other  areas  that  have  surpassed  this  concept.But  we  do  have  things  like  Shake  &  Bake  pancakes,  Smash  mash  potatoes  and  meal  replacement  shakes  such  as  slim  fast  which  just  need  water  adding  to  them.
  • Matrix Reloaded (2003)In  the  2003  film  Matrix  reloaded:  There  is  a  scene  where  inside  the  world  of  the  Matrix  the  Merovingian  character  reprograms  the  DNA  of  a  cheesecake  to  induce  an  orgasm  in  an  unsuspec6ng  diner.A  cake  that  takes  delicious  &  tasty  to  a  new  level…
  • While  we  don’t  yet  have  food  to  create  an  orgasm,  sprinkling  viagra  on  a  cake  wouldn’t  quite  create  the  same  effect,  we  do  have  the  ability  to  make  things  tas6er.There  is  a  chocolate  currently  only  in  Japan  called  GABA  which  uses  hormones  to  create  an6-­‐stress.  And  Nestlé  are  apparently  researching  into  chemicals  which  can  make  you  salivate  more  making  things  taste  more  refreshing  and  juicer.For  the  moment  we  will  have  to  live  with  the  holy  trinity  of  Salt  /  Sugar  /  Fried  for  our  orgasmic  food  sensa6ons,  Krispy  Kreame  anyone..?
  • The 6th Day (2000)In  2000  film  The  6th  Day  it  heavily  features  the  topic  of  cloning,  from  pets  to  the  outlawed  humans,  which  is  a  large  topic  when  considering  the  future  of  food,  bigger  then  I  could  cover  in  tonights  talk.But  there  is  a  very  ‘throw  away’  scene  in  the  film  where  Arnold  Schwarzenegger  is  offer  a  choice  of  2  bananas  ‘Nacho  flavour  or  original’
  • Flavours  and  colours  have  long  been  around  our  foods  from  home  baking  dyes  to  mass  manufacture  flavorings.  Much  like  the  horseradish  and  carrot  jelly  beans,  Heinz  tried  to  make  tomato  ketchup  more  interes6ng  by  making  it  green  and  purpleKit-­‐kat  have  tried  a  few  flavors  from  apple  and  carrot  to  sports  drink  flavorsMeat  water,  is  an  exclusive  meal  flavored  water  drink,  so  exclusive  its  probably  a  hoaxcheetos  lip  balm…
  • Soylent Green (1973)In  the  1973  film  Soylent  Green  the  popula6on  has  grown  beyond  the  food  supplies,  Most  of  the  worlds  popula6on  survives  on  processed  ra6ons,  including  Soylent  Red  and  Soylent  Yellow,  which  are  adver6sed  as  "high-­‐energy  vegetable  concentrates."  The  newest  product  is  Soylent  Green  -­‐  which  is  adver6sed  as  being  produced  from  "high-­‐energy  plankton."Green  is  the  tas6est  of  the  three  but  in  short  supply...as  it  turns  out  it’s  not  plankton,  “Soylent  green  is  people”
  • So...ea6ng  people...ForgeFng  the  incidents  when  an  unfortunate  worker  get’s  dismembered  and  it  ends  up  on  our  plate.And  the  taboo  of  ea6ng  the  placenta...and  brought  back  into  the  main  stream  discussion  by  Tom  Cruise.We  now  have  rice  with  human  genes  in,  which  contains  2  hormones  found  in  breast  milk,  the  rice  is  to  be  used  in  crea6ng  babies  milkand  Human  hair  is  used  to  extract  a  food  addi6ve  called  L-­‐cysteine  (L-­‐cys  for  short)  which  is  open  used  to  give  bagels,  pizza  dough,  and  a  range  of  ready  meals  to  make  the  soper  and  or  fresher.
  • Fortress (1992)All  this  talk  about  enhancing  the  food,  we  haven’t  touched  on  the  other  side  of  this  rela6onship,  why  not  modify  humans...In  the  1992  film  Fortress,  the  prison  warden  is  a  modified  human  who  only  need  to  ‘eat’  once  a  month,  when  he  receives  a  combina6on  of  proteins  and  amino  acids  to  keep  himself  fuelled.
  • We  have  had  things  like  SlimFast  for  some  6me  now,  where  you  replace  2  of  your  daily  meals  with  a  shake  and  only  need  to  eat  one  meal  per  day.A  growing  trend  amount  some  vegan  celebri6es  is  to  have  a  regular  vitamin  b12  injec6on  to  top  up  the  food  nutrients  they  are  not  receiving,  which  go  beyond  the  supplements  we  are  used  to.With  todays  fast  paced  life  it  might  not  be  long  before  a  slim  fast  and  red  bull  diet  is  upgraded  to  something  where  we  only  need  to  top  up  once  a  week  with  ‘body  fuel’
  • Things I could have talked about... Cloned animals / Cloned meat / The terminator seed / Patenting food / The rise and rise of salts and sugars in what we eat / Food engineered to grow medicines / Food that wont rot (is it really food?)Some  other  topics  I  havent  covered  which  are  important  are:Cloned  animals  for  farmingCloned  meat  -­‐  skip  the  animalThe  terminator  seed  (that  wont  reproduces)  as  seen  in  cornPaten6ng  foods  /  seeds  and  controlling  what  can  be  grown  by  whoThe  rise  and  rise  of  salt  and  sugar  in  foodsMedicine  grown  through  foodsFood  that  wont  rot,  is  it  really  food?The  images  show  Sally  Davies  happy  meal  project,  and  the  US  militaries  sandwich  which  lasts  for  3  years
  • They  where  just  a  few  examples  of  what  the  state  of  food  is  today.But,  to  begin  concluding  this  talk  I’ll  leave  you  with  3  closing  thoughts1.  ChildrenGrowing  up  now  consists  of  packets,  not  produce  -­‐  The  skills  needed  are  in  finding  the  best  packet,  and  knowing  how  to  cook  it,  usually  in  under  3  minutes  in  a  microwave.The  knowledge  of  what  food  is  and  where  it  comes  from  is  rapidly  being  lost  with  each  genera6on,  from  knowing  what  simple  fruit  and  vegetables  are  to  where  cheese  comes  from.Which  is  not  surprising  when  they  are  packaged  for  consump6on  in  such  a  variety  of  ways  before  they  enter  the  home.
  • The Matrix (1999)2.  BlissFrom  the  Matrix  in  1999,  in  the  real  world  they  eat:“A  single  celled  protein  combined  with  synthe6c  aminos,  vitamins  and  minerals  -­‐  everything  the  body  needs”  which  they  affec6onately  refer  to  as  snotBut  its  not  enough  for  at  least  one  of  them,  Cypher,  whilst  inside  the  Matrix  he  says  that  I  “know  this  steak  doesn’t  exist,  when  I  put  it  into  my  mouth  the  Matrix  is  telling  my  mouth  that  it  is  juicy  and  delicious…and  aper  nine  years,  what  I  have  realised  is  that  ignorance  is  bliss”
  • Idiocracy (2006)Which  brings  me  on  to  the  3rd  and  final  thought…3.  WorseThe  next  6me  your  watching  a  science  fic6on  movie  and  you  see  some  outrageous  example  of  the  future  food,  just  think  to  yourself,  the  reality  of  the  food  around  you  everyday  is  probably  much  worse!  :)Dont  be  fooled  by  the  steak  of  decep6on,  it’s  available  and  offered  to  you  every  day…The  image  is  from  the  2006  film  Idiocracy,  where  everyone  drinks  sports  drinks  instead  of  water,  including  the  livestock  and  crops.
  • THANK YOU…@olishaw / www.olishaw.comIts  a  topsy  turvy  world  of  food  out  there,  we  have  meat  shaped  like  sweets,  and  sweets  shaped  like  animals…I  hope  you’ve  enjoyed  these  examples.I’ll  be  puFng  on  my  site  tomorrow  an  extended  version  of  this  talk,  with  links  to  lots  of  the  films  and  examples  I  have  men6oned  for  those  who  are  interested  in  exploring  some  more.  Which  you  can  find  at  olishaw.comThank  you!Olishaw.com@olishaw