Saturday, August 29, 2009

future food

Here's a speculation about the future of food, by Philips Design's Probes team, featuring a food printer that lets you compose your own meals nutrient by nutrient, and a complete food generating fishtank/ecosystem for in the home. The overall idea here is to go from a world where people are alienated from their food by mass production-based top-down infrastructures to one where the consumer is an intrinsic part of it and thus gets reconnected with his nutrition. I love this idea, plus the way it is presented in this DIY-videomaking fashion that greatly fits the overall message. What I like less about this vision is the analytical basis on which people interact with their food. Sure, this would be wonderful in making people more aware of things, but I actually think it draws them further away from truly, in an embodied way, reconnecting with their food. We already can get all this information about our food, but treating food like a collection of numbers, and our body as part of a mathematical formula that needs to be resolved so the outcome is 'healthy', in my opinion is not contributing to a reconnection. I believe in directly changing the embodied actions we use towards our food more than connecting us deeper on a mental, insight level. I believe that to truly reconnect, we must learn to select and concentrate, meditate on our food, and focus only on eating when we are eating. In this information-saturated age multi-tasking is the tempting and often even collectively valued strategy, but this actually alienates us further and makes us clueless as to what we are really doing. If we connect in a somatic way with our food, learn to feel it, to perceive it in full awareness, even learning to read its natural intentions from a microscopic to a macroscopic level, then we will truly reconnect. A step in this direction is for example Lissa Kooijman's Eetmeet interactive plate that provides a temporal chewing guidance pattern in the form of subtle lights. 

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