'the future' on Serious Eats

Pizza Girl: Future Technology

Once upon a time, there was no GPS. This was before the "delivery fee" was even a twinkle in the Noid's eye. Cellphones were built like bricks, and pizza delivery dudes were all dudes. And in this land of my pizza-delivery forbears, drivers carried maps made of trees but most carried maps in their heads. I have no idea what technologies are to come and make delivery better, but here are some of my ideas (far-fetched or not) that would be cool. More

Good Headline: 'Stem Cell Researchers May Be on Way to Fakin' Bacon'

This Associated Press report is a couple months late in blabbing about scientists growing pork in a petri dish (the Times of London reported on this in late November), but you've got to give it up for the editor at the Denver Post who came up with the headline "Stem Cell Researchers May Be on Way to Fakin' Bacon." A bacon tie-in never fails to make people sit up and take notice. [via @DRUNKHULK]... More

The Mission to Mars Menu: 20,000 Meals with a Five-Year Shelf Life

Photograph from AFP/Getty Images Since astronauts can probably only stomach so much of that freeze-dried ice cream from museum gift shops, a team of food lab scientists is plotting the menu for a three-year mission to Mars slated to blast off sometime after 2030. The food needs to be light enough, nutritious enough, tasty enough, and durable enough to withstand the journey to the Red Planet, according to the Los Angeles Times. Imagine having to pack more than 6,570 breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners all at once—enough meals to feed six people every day for more than three years. Imagine preparing all these meals with an allotment of 3.2 pounds of food per person per day, about one-third less... More

Condiment Gun

Ladies and gentlemen, the future is now. We teased you with the spice gun back in 2008 and a year later we have the Condiment Gun! It's actually been around for a while, but I'm sad to say this is the first I've heard of it. Methinks I have a lot of ketchup shooting to catch up on. Some words of warning: Apparently this is not designed to fire chunky sauces and is not a toy. There's also no safety so don't go stumbling around with this at your next dinner party. $24.98, from Things You Never Knew Existed; £14.95, from Firebox.com... More

Has the Credit Crunch Affected What You Eat?

©iStockphoto.com/DNY59 It's hard to say how the credit crunch will affect the food world. The decadent prix fixe meals with multiple courses may become a thing of the past, but with more people cooking at home, recipes and high-quality ingredients will remain important. Our friends across the pond are also feeling the recession, and already predicting the future of recession cuisine. According to the Guardian: High-quality fresh produce is doing nicely, in some areas. Several online organic meat providers say that orders are well up, possibly because more people are eating at home. Yet organic egg sales were 18% down in September—proof, perhaps, that at nearly £4 [US$6.90] a dozen there is a limit to how far people will... More

A Look at the Vertical Farm of the Future

We've seen some mock-ups of vertical farms before, but Popular Science's gallery gives us a closer look inside a vertical farm. Aside from showing how crops will be cultivated, it also gives ideas for how meat will be grown and how sewage will be treated. Related In Videos: Dickson Despommier Interviewed on 'The Colbert Report' About Vertical Farming Local Urban Efforts: Vertical Farms... More

In Videos: Mr. Asahi, the Bartending Robot

Do you love drinking beer, but hate pouring it? Fork over $200,000 and you can have you own personal Mr. Asahi Robot Bartender! He's even better if you don't like talking to humans. Don't let the little flashing heart on his chest fool you; he has no soul. All he can do is give you beer. Watch the robot in action after the jump.... More

Just How Gross Is Freeze-Dried Space Food?

The glorified gift shop souvenir of the National Air and Space Museum is fun to buy, but tasty? Today, astronauts can choose among 180 food and beverage items, including beef fajitas, cranapple cobbler, and “Mexican” eggs with beans—quite a step up from the squeeze tubes during the Project Mercury days. And more complex than the gift shop's ice cream sandwich. Food scientists, not chefs or critics, are in charge of NASA’s space meals. Is tastiness prioritized? On some level, it doesn't matter because aromas don’t waft up in space. Chicago Tribune food and wine writer Bill Daley tried a bunch and critiqued them for Discovery magazine. While he was wild about the shrimp cocktail (an astronaut favorite), he wasn't too... More

Latte Printer Art

If Starbucks and Staples got married, they might birth this latte printer machine. Recently featured at a graphics trade show in Los Angeles, the OnLatte repurposes your standard inkjet printer to use caramel syrup instead of ink. Nothing says good coffee like a foamy recreation of the winged Pegasus. [via the Kitchn]... More

In Videos: Instant Laser Coffee Maker

This two-kilowatt laser-powered water heater—good for making instant coffee and tea—may not be practical, but it gets the job done. Do you taste that unearthly bright glow? It's science! And science is delicious! Watch the video after the jump.... More

Coca-Cola Vending Machine Robot in Japan

Photo from sanchome on Flickr. The only thing better than a regular robot is one that doubles as a Coca-Cola vending machine with scorpion-like pincher hands. The logistics are unclear—does it really vend cola cans? Is there a person tall and strong enough to wear this bulky suit? File this under times I wish I was a Japanese school girl outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo to see this weirdness walk by.... More

In Videos: Tex Avery's 'The Farm of Tomorrow' (1954)

The Farm of Tomorrow, an animated short directed by famed animator Tex Avery, shares 1954's predictions of the future of farming—mostly involving strange crossbreeding pairs. Has the future delivered chickens crossbred with centipedes (for more drumsticks), cows crossbred with beavers (for built-in fly swatters), or ducks crossbred with bananas (for ease of skin peeling)? Not yet. Those geneticists better get crackin'. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Grocery Shopping from Your Kitchen Counter—As if We Need It

The Ikan is a device that scans your empty jars and boxes before you toss them, making a grocery grocery list filled with stuff you now need. The list travels wirelessly to your computer, and from there to you can place grocery orders for delivery. The weak link in the service is how well integrated the Ikan is with local grocery delivery options, says David Pogue in the New York Times. I don't know. This concept has reared its head and gotten mention on blogs and websites before—a technology that becomes aware of your empties and assists you by ordering them when you're running low. The times I've seen this idea in the past, it was based on RFID tags,... More

In Videos: Dickson Despommier Interviewed on 'The Colbert Report' About Vertical Farming

Stephen Colbert interviews Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier about how growing food in vertical towers could be the answer to the food crisis. Vertical farming, which uses hydroponics technology, allows for better control of the growing environment and puts food within the city limits, cutting down on food transportation costs... "Plus, it's pleasantly phallic," adds Colbert. Watch the video after the jump.... More

In Videos: Fast Food Feedbags on 'The Onion News Network'

"It's hot steamy food in your face right now." Sure, eating is fun, but it's just so darn time- and energy-consuming. Fortunately, The Onion News Network announces the fast food industry's latest development: wearable feedbags. "Something that we heard over and over again was, 'I really love your food; I just wish it wasn't so much work to have to eat it,'" says a fast food executive in the video. Obviously, the only way to solve this problem is to strap your food to your head. "Sometimes I don't feel like moving my arms, so this way you can just have it on your face, close to your mouth, so you don't have to pick anything up," says a man... More

In Videos: The Chief Cook Robot Learns How to Make a Ham and Cheese Omelet

The Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland has adapted Fujitsu's HOAP-3 robot into the Chief Cook Robot. Capable of learning recipes and techniques, a Nintendo Wii remote is used to guide the teaching scenario and the answer the robot's questions. Check out the video, where the robot learns how to whip eggs, grate cheese, and slice ham for the omelet.... More

In the Future: Dishwashers on Your Wall

Save space, be complimented on your fabulously mod kitchen layout, and be green all at the same time with this horizontal eco dishwasher designed by Marie-Christine Lacasse and Claude Savard, students at the University of Quebec. All you'd need to do is stick the dirty dishes in the rack: The dishwasher will automatically fill up and do its thing. Check out this video to see it in action. [via Treehugger]... More

In Videos: Czech Out the Kitchen of the Future

This Czech vision of the future from 1957 features a number of goofy predictions (cookbooks replaced by punch cards, an at-the-ready dispenser that gives accurate doses of ingredients) along with a couple uncannily accurate ones (cool-to-the-touch induction cooktops and "TV shopping"—essentially an early, starry-eyed form of online grocery shopping). The coolest thing in it is the circular, rotating, glass-door fridge and the infrared rotisserie. Give it another 51 years.... More

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