If there's anything that connects every person on this planet regardless of race and creed, it's food. We all enjoy it, we all need it and we all waste away should we be deprived of it. That's why each new food industry innovation profoundly influences the way our lives will be led -- just think of the microwave oven and how it affected the 20th century.
So expect the future to take a turn for the weird when they implement these babies in our everyday lives.
5 Your Food Will Come from a Printer
Imagine future you trudging through a long day of work where your superiors have been giving you seven kinds of hell and your "urgent" pile just keeps getting higher.
"Oh good, I caught you before you left for vacation. I need this gigantic project done. See ya!"
When you finally hit home, chances are you're hungry as hell. Sadly, chances are also that you just don't have the energy left to walk up to the kitchen, or even pick up the phone for a pizza.
That leaves you with two options: Either you give up and let your stomach digest your lower intestines in desperation ... or you reach out to your computer, fire up your trusty old FoodMaker 3000 program and print your dinner.
"PC Load Ground Beef -- what the fuck does that mean?"
The Cornucopia is MIT's proof that there is some goodness in this world after all. It's basically a 3-D food printer that, shockingly, prints food.
The premise is simple and very similar to your trusty inkjet printer. Instead of ink cartridges, the machine uses special food canisters filled with different raw ingredients. Then, you punch in the sort of food you want the printer to make from them, and it squirts them into desired layers and either cooks or cools the end result to perfection. The process is fully customizable: You can stuff the canisters with virtually any combination of ingredients you want and mix them in any way you like, down to customizing the temperature, calorie count and carbohydrate content. With preprogrammed recipes, the machine can fix you, say, lasagna for dinner and an ice cream cake for dessert. In mere minutes. With no more effort on your part than a push of the button.
And that's just one version of the printer MIT is dabbling with. See, the Cornucopia project isn't the name of a food printer. It's the name of a line of food printers, such as the Digital Chocolatier:
Didn't Bugs Bunny trap Rocky and Mugsy in one of these?
And the big-ass, sped-up version of the basic printer called the Virtuoso Mixer:
The robots are coming for you, Alton Brown.
Now, here's the bad news: Although several restaurants already have access to versions of the food printer, MIT doesn't have any plans yet to put this in your home.
However, Cornell University has created its own version of the Cornucopia called Fab@Home (terrible name!), with the full intent of bringing it to a store near you. The current version is actually already available online, for a measly sum of $3,300.
If you think your ink cartridges are expensive now ...
They expect the first brand name food printers to be commercially available in a few years and cost around $1,000. Rest assured that we are waiting eagerly for that day -- then, all we need is someone to invent the iToilet and we'll never have to leave the computer again.