Waiter, There’s a Physicist in My Soup, Part 2

DESCRIPTIONIntellectual Ventures Animal? Vegetable? Mineral? Answer: tomato gel spheres, from Modernist Cuisine.
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Freakonomics Radio

Waiter, There’s a Physicist in My Soup! (Part 2): What do a computer hacker, an Indiana farm boy and Napoleon Bonaparte have in common? The past, present and future of food science.

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Last week, in Part 1 of our “Waiter, There’s a Physicist in My Soup!” podcast, we looked at the movement to bring more science into the kitchen, embodied by the efforts of physicist/chef/inventor Nathan Myhrvold and his forthcoming cookbook Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. We also heard from Alice Waters, the champion of organic and slow food, who thinks we need to get back to basics, with less technology in our food.

In Part 2, we get out of the kitchen and take a broader look at the past, present and future of food science. (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen live via the link in box at right or read the transcript here.)

First, we hear from John Floros, a food scientist at Penn State who co-authored a paper on the history of food science. (Special thanks on this episode go to the Institute for Food Technology.) He explains why we have Napoleon Bonaparte to thank for canned food.? He also explains why anyone who’s alive today might want to thank a food scientist:

Floros: Lack of vitamins for example, lack of nutrients were causing a lot of different diseases back then, that we have pretty much eliminated today.? And the biggest reason that we’ve eliminated them is the fact that we have plenty of food available, the right kind of food available year-round all over the country — and in most parts of the world actually, not just in this country.

DESCRIPTIONPhilip Nelson in Peru, where tomatoes are produced 11 months of the year. He tried to help them ship tomato paste aseptically to preserve taste and nutrition while cutting down on waste.

Then we talk to an unsung food hero named Philip Nelson (all right, not totally unsung, but hardly a household name), who started out as a frustrated farm kid in Indiana and wound up changing the way food travels around the globe. Alas, there were a few hitches:

Nelson: And we put in two 15,000-gallon tanks and filled them one summer with pizza sauce, 30,000 gallons.? Well, I’ll never forget in the fall I got a call from this processor that said, we hate to tell you Dr. Nelson, but all 30,000 gallons of your product is spoiling. So, was I glad I was in the hills of Pennsylvania, because we had to spread that red wasted tomato all over the hills out there.

But he kept experimenting, and now there are 3-million-gallon tanker ships that transport orange juice around the world. Along with juice boxes for kids, fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt and … wine in a box. Thanks, Phil Nelson!

DESCRIPTIONNelson built a 1,000-gallon tank without permission outside his Purdue lab and filled it with chopped tomatoes to test his theories.
DESCRIPTIONPablos Holman, hacker-turned-food scientist.

Finally, we hear from Pablos Holman, an accomplished hacker who now works as an inventor at Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold’s firm. Holman grew frustrated at how much food Americans waste (by some estimates, 30 to 50 percent of all the food gets thrown out), so he decided to start inventing a device that would give you exactly the food you want, whenever you want it. It’s a food printer:

Holman: So what would happen is, just like an inkjet printer you have at home, instead of putting down droplets of ink, I’m putting down droplets of food.? But I control every single pixel.? I can use a laser to cook a pixel of food and get it exactly as warm as I want, cooked as slow or as fast as I want. … I think by comparison, what has been done in cooking is Neanderthal, it’s very primitive.? We don’t have that kind of resolution and control of our cooking.

It gets even better:

Holman: So when I print your meal, I get your allergens accounted for, any dietary restrictions are avoided, I might incorporate your pharmaceuticals, I might be sending a report back to your doctor that you might be getting the right dosage of these things everyday. And then I can do really cool things. Once you’re eating from printers every day like this, the fundamental part is that we’ve networked your food consumption. Now we know a lot more about what you eat, and we can use that to help you out. So we can have apps that wean you off of sodium or cholesterol, things that you might be having a problem with now. Just imagine if you had a problem with too much sodium. Well, I can just ratchet it down a few milligrams a day over the next few months to get you down closer to zero, and you’ll never even notice it’s happening, because every time you eat something it will taste exactly like I had yesterday. It just won’t taste like what you had last month. So, those possibilities don’t exist in the way we eat now.

Networked food consumption. Eliminating food waste by producing just-in-time meals –which, potentially, could help keep you healthier. Sure, it sounds like science fiction, but think about how our current food system might have looked to someone 100 years ago, someone with a goiter on his neck the size of a grapefruit from iodine deficiency, to someone who ate a piece of meat once a week if he was lucky, to a mom who could only count on feeding her family whatever happened to be in the root cellar. That said, I’d be really impressed if Holman’s printer could churn out something like this:

DESCRIPTIONIntellectual Ventures From Modernist Cuisine: braised short ribs come out perfect every time when vacuum-sealed and cooked for 72 hours in a water bath set to a precise 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Audio Transcript

Waiter There’s a Physicist in my Soup! (Part 2)

 

ANNOUNCER: Previously, on Freakonomics Radio.

Nathan MYHRVOLD: Then you cook it to perfect medium rare, then you dunk it in liquid nitrogen, which freezes the outside.  Then we deep-fry it.  We pop it in a deep fryer.  Or we use a torch on it, a blowtorch. And either one will give you this incredible crusty outside, but because you put it in liquid nitrogen that prevents it from overcooking, so you get the perfect medium-rare hamburger.

Alice WATERS: I am so hungry for the taste of the real that I’m just not able to get into that which doesn’t feel real to me.  It’s a kind of scientific experiment, and I think that there are good scientists and crazy old scientists that can be very amazing. But it’s more like a museum to me. It’s not a kind of way of eating that we need to really live on this planet together.

Stephen J. DUBNER: Alice Waters is the owner of the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, and she’s a champion of simple, slow, organic food. The guy who wants to build the perfect hamburger -- one tank of liquid nitrogen at a time -- that’s Nathan Myhrvold. He runs an invention company called Intellectual Ventures. He trained as a physicist -- and also as a chef. He is about to publish a cookbook -- a six-volume, 2,400-page, $625 cookbook – called “Modernist Cuisine.” It’s a celebration of molecular gastronomy, the high-end practice of turning ordinary food into works of art. The book is also a serious effort to bring the scientific method into the kitchen. Myhrvold thinks that science and food go together like … like peanut butter and jelly. Like corned beef and cabbage. Like white beet soup with liquid-nitrogen frozen crab-apple spätzle.

MYHRVOLD: Well, like it or not, physics happens, OK? So, you know, I think that informing people, whether it’s chefs, or it’s foodies, or it’s the average person, informing them on some of the ways that stuff actually works, I don’t see how that is a problematic notion.

DUBNER: Alice Waters, she’s not a fan of molecular gastronomy. She thinks people like Myhrvold are making a mistake by bringing their chemistry sets into the kitchen. Food science? For  some fans of slow food, of organic food, those two words -- food science -- don’t belong in the same sentence. But you know what? If it weren’t for food science, you might not be here today, listening to this program. If it weren’t for food science, your grandparents might not have been born because your great-grandparents would have starved to death -- or maybe died from some food-borne disease. And who should you be thanking for your existence? Well, for starters, Napoleon Bonaparte.

[THEME]

ANNOUNCER: From WNYC and American Public Media, this is Freakonomics Radio. “Waiter, There’s a Physicist in My Soup!” Part 2 of our episode about the past, present, and future of food science.

John FLOROS: What I would say that in the last probably couple of centuries, or a century and a half, some of the most important developments was really the ability to put a food in a container and sterilize it or pasteurize it.  And this, this came in the era of Napoleon in France.

DUBNER: That’s John Floros, who runs the food science department at Penn State University.

FLOROS: One of his scientists developed the methods to really can food and sterilize it so that Napoleon could actually transfer the food to his armies, and therefore can move forward to longer and longer distances.

DUBNER: Floros is talking about Nicolas Appert, known today as the father of canning. Appert did not invent canning out of the goodness of his heart: Napoleon offered a large cash prize. It took Appert about 10 years of experimentation before he reached his goal.

FLOROS: So Nicolas Appert, I would say, and the invention of really putting food in a jar or a can, closing it and sterilizing it --  it’s probably the most important invention probably in the last couple hundred years with respect with food because it completely transformed how we consumed food.

DUBNER: And that was a dividend of war, then, yes?

FLOROS: In some respect it was, yes.

DUBNER: But canning could only do so much. Go back just a few generations, to America in the 1920s, and you’d be shocked by the state of the average diet.

FLOROS: We did not have all the fruits and the vegetables that we have today. In particular, we did not have those available all year long. There were a lot of preserved foods such as dry material. There were a lot of things that you made and you consumed right away, maybe some cheeses and milks and the like. Uh,  some meat, although meat was not as available as it is today, because it was very difficult to grow the animals; and it was fairly expensive. And at the time, not only in this country, but all around the world, there were a lot of diseases that today most people have never even heard of.

DUBNER: Simple food, it turns out, wasn’t always so simple. You might have to check your neck for swelling every morning; make sure you weren’t developing a goiter from iodine deficiency. Thousands of men were rejected from military service in World War I for that reason. And then: we started putting iodine in salt, and the goiters disappeared. Another common affliction was rickets – bowed legs from weak bones. And then: a food scientist in Wisconsin figured out how to get vitamin D into milk.

FLOROS: Lack of vitamins for example -- lack of nutrients -- were causing a lot of different diseases back then that we have pretty much eliminated today.  And the biggest reason that we have eliminated them is the fact that we have plenty of food available, the right kind of food available year -- round all over the country -- and in most parts of the world actually, not just in this country.

DUBNER: That sounds borderline miraculous -- all that food, available almost anytime, almost anywhere. So how’d it happen? Well, people like Norman Borlaug made it happen. During the 1960s, Asia was on the verge of a mass famine. Borlaug, a plant chemist, developed new and heartier strains of wheat that drastically increased crop yield -- and he’s credited with saving a billion lives, more than anyone in history. In 1970, Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize. Years later, he established the World Food Prize, a sort of Nobel for food science. Here’s one recent winner:

Philip E. NELSON: I’m Philip E. Nelson. I was a professor, I’m now a professor emeritus at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  I worked there for 50  years, and actually retired last July.

DUBNER: Phil Nelson is a soft-spoken grandfatherly type, who lives in a modest green house in snowy northern Michigan. He grew up on a tomato farm in Morristown, Indiana. Like a lot of farms, it had its own canning plant. Every season, there was a struggle to let the fruit ripen up until the first frost but then having to hustle to process the tomatoes before they started to spoil.

NELSON: Here was the problem: One was getting them at the peak of their quality to get them into the can.  Then once we would harvest, be able to run day and night to be sure that we were able to save them. And then of course, you were guessing what you were putting in the can.  Was it going to be puree, whole pack, juice, ketchup.  And of course, your competitor down the road was guessing the same thing. So you ended up having too much canned juice and that would be a drag on the market, but you already had it in the can you couldn’t do anything about it.

DUBNER: There was another problem. The canning process was a sterilization process, which you achieve by heating up each can of tomatoes to kill bacteria. In the service of food safety, you sacrificed taste and nutrition. Wouldn’t it be nice to do something about that? Nelson went off to college, at Purdue.

NELSON: I decided I didn’t want to stay on the farm, so I was going to get a degree and probably go on into industry. But things happen. You know how these unexpected events occur, and the result was I ended up getting my PhD and staying at Purdue, because I had a research interest to see if I could come up with a way to help those tomato processors.

DUBNER: Nelson got to work on a process that could pasteurize food in a thin layer as it passed through a series of sterilized pipes and valves, and into a large sterilized tank. Using that thin layer allowed for a gentler temperature, which didn’t kill off all the flavor and nutrition. This was called “bulk aseptic processing.” If it worked, it could buy farmers time to make a better decision about the market’s demand for their crops; and it could safely preserve the food without stealing so much of flavor and nutrition. But nothing like this had ever been done on an industrial scale. Nelson had a hard time finding anyone else who thought it could work. Think of all the moving parts, and the precise temperatures you needed because if just a few bacteria slipped in, or a few mold spores survived, the whole tank could be ruined. Nelson asked a lot of people to work with him until finally someone said yes: a Cincinnati company that made beer tanks.

NELSON: So I had them make me five little tanks, hundred gallon. And without going into the detail of they were all different, so I had to choose the right one.  And when I was successful, brought industry in  to look at the product, this hundred-gallon tank.  And when the Heinz, and Hunts and Campbells came in, they said great project, but way too small, we’d fill those tanks in minutes.

DUBNER: Hm. What’d you do then?

NELSON: Well, you know, I could’ve have stopped then because I had some patents and some publications, and would have been promoted, but I guess it’s my background that said, “Well let’s try scaling it up.” So I put a thousand-gallon tank outside of the building, really didn’t ask anybody, and couldn’t get by with that today. Fortunately back then, you know,  no one really minded.  And so this was a thousand-gallon tank. For us to do that in our lab, to process enough tomatoes, it was really difficult. And, of course, my students that were working with me back then all remember the days of the tomato, as we were filling this thousand-gallon tank.  Fortunately, I brought the companies back, after we held the product in there: this was the chopped tomato product, for 18  months, good vitamin C, color flavor, everything was good.  But again the industry said, it’s just not big enough.

DUBNER: Still too small! A thousand gallons is still not big enough for these guys.

NELSON: That’s correct, still not big enough. So I found a company in Pennsylvania, nothing in Indiana or Ohio, but in Pennsylvania.  And we put in two 15,000 gallon tanks and filled them one summer with pizza sauce, 30,000 gallons. Well, I’ll never forget in the fall I got a call from this processor saying, “We hate to tell you Dr. Nelson, but all thirty thousand gallons of your product is spoiling.” So, was I glad I was in the hills of Pennsylvania, because we had to spread that red wasted tomato all over the hills out there. Fortunately we had kept good records. We realized that you can’t be half aseptic; it’s got to be total.  And we had made a glitch in our process, and we thought we were OK and went ahead, but we weren’t.

DUBNER: What was the glitch?

NELSON: The glitch was the process temperature dropped. It was just a little drop in the process where we got below what I would call sterilization temperatures.  And so we allowed some organisms then to slip into the product.  And  they let us come back the second year.  We filled those tanks up again, and fortunately we were successful.

DUBNER: The food industry, so slow to embrace Nelson’s idea at first, was quick to see its potential. The people who make orange juice, for instance. There was a time, not so long ago, that most orange juice had to be heated and canned, or shipped in frozen concentrate, and then reconstituted with water.

NELSON: But in 1984 a company called Tropicana came to my office and said, “Do you think it will work for orange juice?”  And with my fingers crossed, I said, “I think so.” And so, we actually changed the citrus industry with the not-from-concentrate orange juice.

DUBNER: So, thanks to Philip Nelson’s work, you can buy a refrigerated cardboard box of real orange juice any time, in any season, at just about any grocery store in America. And the treats kept coming. Fruit-on- the-bottom yogurt. Juice boxes for the kids. Wine in a box! Thank you, Phil Nelson. Now, none of these may be your idea of the ultimate food. But even if you’re the kind of person who likes to roll your own dough and grow your own herbs and squeeze your own juice, isn’t it nice to know that people like Philip Nelson have been working so hard for so long to feed the rest of us?

DUBNER: Coming up, we look forward to the wild future of food.  For instance: a food “printer” that can create an almost limitless array of dining possibilities -- all from a few toner cartridges.

[UNDERWRITING]

ANNOUNCER: From WNYC and American Public Media, this is Freakonomics Radio. Here’s your host, Stephen Dubner.

DUNBER: So food scientists have done things that, a few decades ago, nobody would have thought possible. What’s the food future look like?

Pablos HOLMAN: My name is Pablos Holman, I work at the Intellectual Ventures lab as an inventor.

DUBNER: You might remember Holman’s boss at Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, the physicist/chef/inventor with the 2,400-page cookbook.  Holman made his name as a computer hacker:

HOLMAN: You know what hackers are good for is just discovering what’s possible. The mindset of a hacker is that they’re good at figuring out all the things that are possible that the manufacturer never intended. The question is: What can I make this do. I’m going to take all the screws out of the back and open it up get inside, and break it into the pieces. But then I’m going to figure out, what can I build from the rubble, right? And that’s the mindset of hackers, and I think that, you know,  it’s the fundamental part of technology, discovering what’s possible, and hackers do that all the time with everything. It’s kind of like being a scientist just without all the formal training and accountability.

DUBNER: Here are some of the projects that Holman has worked on: commercial space flight, building the world’s smallest computer, making self-sterilizing elevator buttons for hospitals, trying to stop destructive hurricanes from reaching land. One thing he wasn’t that interested in was food. But for the past few years, Holman has been sitting right next to the big experimental kitchen where Nathan Myhrvold and his comrades try out their new recipes …

HOLMAN: They feed me quite often, and I have no idea what I’m eating.  You know, it’s always some bizarre thing where they took an entire moose and distilled it into, you know, a coffee bean and, you know, infused it with whipped cream. I don’t know.

DUBNER: This got Holman to thinking a bit more about how Americans eat-- and it didn’t take long to spot a lot of inefficiencies. Behind every supermarket, there’s a Dumpster full of expired food, and pounds and pounds of packaging. By some estimates, between one-third and one-half of all food produced in America is never eaten.

HOLMAN: The inefficiency is consolidated around the last mile of how we eat. So we’re really good at efficiency on an industrial scale. We’re good at  agriculture, and we’re good at agricultural efficiency. We are not good at efficiency in the last mile where we take those ingredients and prepare them and serve them.

DUBNER: A smart, young guy frustraswated with inefficiencies in the food system? Sound a little bit familiar? Phil Nelson was upset about all those wasted tomatoes in the first mile they traveled; for Pablos Holman, the last mile was the problem. So he decided to do something about it.

HOLMAN: So my original vision was this kind of ATM machine that you walk up to and it shows you three buttons. You know, what I ate yesterday, what my friends like, or “I’m feeling lucky.”  And you just push one of those buttons and the machine has toner cartridges of frozen or dried and powdered foods, and it goes down and puts a little pixel of powdered food down, hydrates it with a needles, zaps it with laser to cook it, and rinse and repeat for every pixel, and it prints a meal.

DUBNER: Doesn’t that sound absurd? Kind of how it must have sounded absurd when someone suggested an ATM dispensing cash, instead of a bank teller? What Holman has in mind is, essentially, a 3D printer that can print food. Now, 3D printers have been around for years – they’re called “rapid prototypers.” In fact, Intellectual Ventures already uses them, to make plastic models of a brain aneurysm so the neurosurgeon can study its shape and size before cutting through a patient’s skull. What if you could use a rapid prototyper to print food?

HOLMAN: So what would happen is just like an inkjet printer you have at home -- instead of putting down droplets of ink, I’m putting down droplets of food, right? But I control every single pixel, right? I can use a laser to cook a pixel of food and get it exactly as warm as I want, exactly as slow or as fast as I want. And again, I think by comparison, what has been done in cooking is Neanderthal, right? It’s very primitive.  I mean, we don’t have that kind of resolution and control of our cooking.  And there’s a lot of other advantages. So, in this system, all my ingredients are prepared on an industrial scale. And they’re preserved at the point of origin. If you go to the best restaurants in the world, they don’t serve you market fresh produce, they serve you produce that was ripened on the tree, picked riped and flash frozen on site. And that’s because that’s an optimal way to perserve all the flavor and all the nutritional ingredients that are in there. And so what I want to do is bring that to everybody. So in my system, all the ingredients come from the farm, directly off the tree, they’re frozen or dried on site and powdered.  You know a lot of dried foods can last 25 years on the shelf.  If you look at rice and flour and things: there’s no water in there, nothing bad can grow and those ingredients can live a long time. So I take that, I put it in a sealed toner cartridge, the FedEx guy comes by once a day and swaps out the empties in the machine, and so when it’s making you a meal it’s using optimally preserved ingredients.

DUBNER: If you’re thinking Holman sounds like someone who’s read too much science fiction  well, yeah:

HOLMAN: Chefs can be designing meals in CAD programs and it can print out, you know, tessellated 3D fractal hamburgers if they want. You can do something here that’s not been possible before. I can make a meal where maybe you have a meal the size and shape of a Snickers bar, but you start at one end with an appetizer and work your way through an entrée and then end up with dessert at the other end. I can start to do some pretty interesting things there by applying Photoshop filters to food.

DUBNER: But the more you listen to him -- or at least the more I listened to him -- the more you realize how thoroughly he’s thought this through, and even if the invention he eventually winds up with is only one percent as good as he’s hoping for, it seriously might start to change the world.

HOLMAN: So when I print your meal, I get your allergens accounted for, any dietary restrictions are avoided, I might incorporate your pharmaceuticals, I might be sending a report back to your doctor that you might be getting the right dosage of these things every day. And then I can do really cool things. Once you’re eating from printers every day like this, the fundamental part is that we’ve networked your food consumption. Now we know a lot more about what you eat, and we can use that to help you out. So we can have apps that wean you off of sodium or cholesterol, things that you might be having a problem with now. Just imagine if you had a problem with too much sodium. Well, I can just ratchet it down a few milligrams a day over the next few months to get you down closer to zero, and you’ll never even notice it’s happening, because every time you eat something it will taste exactly like what I had yesterday. It just won’t taste exactly like what you had last month. So, those possibilities don’t exist in the way we eat now.

DUBNER: Networked food consumption: eliminating food waste by producing just-in-time meals -- which, potentially, could help keep you healthier. Yeah, it sounds like science fiction, but think about how our current food system might have looked to someone 100 years ago, to someone with a goiter on his neck the size of a grapefruit, to someone who ate a piece of meat once a week if he was lucky, to a mom who could only count on feeding her family whatever happened to be down in the root cellar. And no, children, you won’t be having any fresh, calcium-fortified orange juice from Brazil this morning – or any other morning.

By the way: Pablos Holman is not alone in thinking about a food printer. A group of engineers at Cornell has got a prototype in the hands of a New York chef. And can you imagine how nice it would be to have a few of these printers, or maybe a few hundred or thousand food printers, that you could airlift into some disaster zone after a hurricane or an earthquake?

DUBNER: All right last question, what’d you have for dinner last night?

HOLMAN: So last night I had a…I live in Seattle, there are  parts of town they have street vendors selling hotdogs with cream cheese and I love those things.  They’re unbelievably good.

DUBNER: A hot dog with cream cheese? That may not be your idea, or my idea, of a great meal, but you know what? It works for Pablos Holman. And not just the food itself -- but the very, very low opportunity cost.

HOLMAN: It was fast, you know. It took me probably three minutes to buy it and eat it. And those other 57 minutes of that hour that somebody else might have spent shopping or cleaning, or cooking, you know, I got to spend salsa dancing.

[MUSIC]

ANNOUNCER: Freakonomics Radio is a co-production of WNYC, American Public Media and Dubner Productions. This episode was produced by Jeff Mosenkis and mixed by David Herman. Our producers include Suzie Lechtenberg, Chris Neary, Bourree Lam and Collin Campbell. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and you’ll get the next episode in your sleep. You can find more audio on freakonomicsradio.com. And, as always, if you want to read more about the hidden side of everything, go to freakonomics.com.

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COMMENTS: 19

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  1. Leon says:

    Yeah, sure, great. Science rules.

    Just don’t let the little details ( juices from the concentrate are not even the same species as freshly squeezed (or better yet, the whole fruit) by any measure, from taste to ingredients; eating all the right vitamins year round makes our bodies weaker on the long run (what happens if the everyday supply is interrupted?); about the only “food ink” you can put in the printer is something like HFCS and such, etc., etc., etc.) to stand in the way of this great development that worked so well for everyone in the last half of the XX century.

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  2. Tracy Baker says:

    Leon, that is absolutely the dumbest thing I have read in quit awhile. Fruit concentrate comes from the juice of fruit, and then goes through a heat treatment to remove water. The only thing that is not present in fruit concentrate is the water, and fiber. Everything else is retained. If not for Food Scientist you would be gathering acorns in your backyard tonight for dinner. Next time you have something to say, please speak from knowledge!!! Otherwise keep coming across as ……

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  3. ChefL says:

    We’ve been making edible menus in my culinary classes (food coloring with flavor essences added in the ink-jet printer, printed on rice paper) for years. There’s no reason amino acids, lipids and other nutrients couldn’t be added as well. After all, they use TPN (IV nutrition) in hospitals. Our industrial design department has a 3-D printer that will make a plastic copy of anything it scans. Copying your amuse bouche in the photo isn’t that far off.

    The other area that is in its infancy but holds promise for the future is nutrigenomics. When we can link our diet to our DNA, we’ll gain some control over the environmental factors that contribute to chronic disease. Imagine having a 3-D printer that makes a look-alike, taste-alike filet mignon (or Big Mac, if you prefer) that optimally meets our nutrition needs!

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  4. Leon says:

    @ Tracy Baker

    > that is absolutely the dumbest thing I have read in quit awhile.

    That’s a great way to start an intelligent discussion.

    > Fruit concentrate comes from the juice of fruit, and then goes through a heat treatment to remove water.

    That’s simplified to the point of being incorrect because “the heat treatment” not only results in loss of some micro-nutrients but also changes some of the less stable compounds and they’re actually the guys you want to have in your juice (vitamin C, antioxidants). You can do a bit of research on that (so you can please speak from knowledge) but better yet just get some fresh fruits or vegetables, squeeze your own juice and compare the taste. All of which actually doesn’t matter because no juice in the world is as good for you as the whole fruits or vegetables.

    > If not for Food Scientist you would be gathering acorns in your backyard tonight for dinner.

    1)No true – rather advanced agriculture was around for thousands of years before “Food Scientist” got involved and 2) is it a proven fact that as species (and individuals) we wouldn’t be better off as hunters-gathered than we are now? I’m not saying we would but since you can’t prove that we wouldn’t, it’s not a good argument. Not to mention that the other species would definitely be much better off if we stuck with picking acorns.

    I’d love to further help you with your food education but this is hardly the right place. Please feel free to send me a personal email (zima3000@google.com) if you wish to continue.

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  5. Clancy says:

    Sounds like some neat stuff, and no doubt the future hold many improvements to the way we get our food.
    A word of caution though: Don’t get ahead of yourself and Never Ever think that science has it all figured out. Food scientists in the 19th century thought they had it all figured out when they divided food into starches, protiens and fats. Then they created “the perfect food” to keep factory workers at maximum productivity. Then they couldn’t figure out why all the workers were incapacitated by vitamin deficiencies.
    I know many biologists who do basic research, and the things we Don’t know about the way diet affects physiology are staggering. And that’s just the “known unknowns”

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  6. Tzipporah says:

    How can you seriously talk about science in food (and cooking education) and not mention Alton Brown? Wow.

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  7. Paul says:

    Well, Holman can print with edible inks, and he may even be able to procure edible papers (matzoh?), but ca he make something come ut of a printer TASTE good? As yet, doubtful. But remember, this is the guy who waxed rhapsodic in the last part about the baked potato with butter and chive foam. Compared to that, stuff out of a printer might constitute sustenance to him (if not to me).

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  8. Winfield J. Abbe says:

    http://www.orthomed.com/klenner.htm

    How many of the food scientists mentioned read the above article on Vitamin C at high doses by
    Fred Klenner, M.D., published in 1971? Vitamin C is much more important than for just preventing scurvy with low doses of 60 mgm per day.

    How many of them have read the paper published in 1969 proving that Vitamin C at high doses, of the order of hundreds of grams per day, kills cancer cells without harming normal cells? How many of them know that this therapy has been used successfully to treat advanced cancer patients, but not in the U.S. because the prejudiced scientists and cancer generals are and have been looking in the wrong places for cancer answers. Here is a reference:

    “Cancer and Vitamin C Therapy for Patients” by Reagan Houston, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Aug./Sept., 2007.

    How do we know that most disease today is not caused by nutritional deficiencies? In 1994, Joel Wallach, D.V.M., co author of a 1300 page book on nutrition of exotic animals (Saunders and Co.), gave a speech called “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie”. In that speech, which has been recorded as a tape, he stated that everyone who dies of natural causes dies of a nutritional deficiency. He stated we all need 90 vitamins and minerals in regular amounts every day.

    How many food labels state the minerals in foods or the minerals and vitamins which have been removed from heating to high temperatures during processing, or adding chemicals to extend shelf life?

    How many farmers add 90 vitamins and minerals back to the soil? N, P, K , Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium is all they add isn’t it and we are lucky if they add enough of those.
    A corn plant can look perfectly normal to the eye but have mineral deficiencies..

    How many of the food “scientists” above have read anything about cancer, for example, than what the failed cancer generals have promoted for the past 40 years? They have squandered over $100 billion and not only cannot tell us scientifically what cancer is, but how to cure and prevent it in the human body either.

    Most of the cancer generals have negligently failed to read and understand the seminal discoveries on cancer by the genius in Germany Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D., decades ago. How many of these food scientists have read any of his 500+ scientific papers on all subjects? After all, most of the cancer generals haven’t read them, so it is likely they have not read them either. How many of them know that cancer is caused, not by genetics, but inadequate energy transfer into living cells. This explains why the cancer rates are skyrocketing because the food supply had been adulterated of essential fatty acids which make up most of the cell wall linings which, in turn, are responsible for oxygen transfer into the cells and hence energy production and hence, cancer prevention.

    These statements are based, not on genetic speculations, but experiments and facts performed before 1923 in animals, and the next 40 years for humans. Here is a current reference discussing this information:

    “The Hidden Story of Cancer” by Brian Peskin with Amid Habib, M.D., Pinnacle Press, Houston, 2006-2010.

    The NYTimes article above is largely hot air propaganda. It cites prevention of goiter by iodine. But what if iodine had not been added to salt before the FDA Gestapo? We would all be walking around with goiters while the corrupt FDA “scientists” continued debating this. They have only approved Vitamin C at the trivial dose of 60 mgm per day but you cannot even buy any supplements lower than a half a gram. Linus Pauling was right after all. He took about 18 grams per day. The U.S. FDA is a corrupt criminal cesspool, corrupted by drug and food processing companies.

    Winfield J. Abbe
    A.B., Physics, UC Berkeley, 1961
    M.S., Physics, California State University at Los Angeles, 1962
    Ph.D., Physics, UC Riverside, 1966
    wjabbe@aol.com
    Athens, GA.

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