Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wow. Super-Mind-Boggle Time.

Where do I begin? I promise, you'll be amazed, and amused, and terrified, before many more paragraphs have gone by.

I'm seriously still trying to get a grip on this one. I just moments ago found it buried on the BBC "Science" page. Researchers at Cornell (NY) have announced great progress, and wonderful goals, on the "3D Food Printer" they have constructed, and are perfecting. Yup, the idea is to get really great recipes; feed them into the computer- and then print the food out. They've done it; you can print cookies.

The Total Brain Freeze Mind Boggle comes not from the cookie printing; but from what the people working on it are saying:

"And it would have the added benefit of cutting out some of the waste of current food production methods, says Homaro Cantu, chef and owner of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, who has printed sushi using an ink jet printer.

"Imagine being able to essentially 'grow', 'cook' or prepare foods without the negative industrial impact - everything from fertilizers to saute pans and even packaging," he says.

"The production chain requirements for food would nearly be eliminated."

Local food, could really mean local.

"You can imagine a 3D printer making homemade apple pie without the need for farming the apples, fertilizing, transporting, refrigerating, packaging, fabricating, cooking, serving and the need for all of the materials in these processes like cars, trucks, pans, coolers, etc," he adds."

Are you boggled yet?

I have to take a little break, and eat some outmoded plain old food; more writing here after lunch. I just couldn't put off getting this much launched into the ether.

Ok. Back after lunch; but slight change in my plans; have to go move some stuff for chicken nest boxes...
Back again; chickens happy. Now, just to clarify; the guy saying "production chain requirements would be nearly eliminated" is a chef, not a PhD. Whew. So, it's only a chef they work with who has no idea whatsoever where eggs, or apples, come from.

The chef also says:

"What if you could have mom's homemade apple pie sent via e-mail and printed up at home? Her apple pie becomes as close as an instant message on Facebook."

Which would pretty much indicate he also has no idea what "mom's homemade apple pie" either is, or means.

The BBC website links to the Cornell group's site; where confidence in the scientists is not entirely inspired by finding this:

posted Jan 20, 2010 12:41 PM by Jeffrey Lipton [ updated Jan 25, 2010 3:12 PM ]
The Fab@Home Project Team is recruiting students from any and all
majors in Cornell Univeristy who want to help shape the future
of personal manufacturing. Look under "Joining the Team"
and "Upcoming Events" for more information"

That little gem has been up for a year- and updated once - without
anyone at Cornell noticing that "recruit" is not spelled with 2 T's.
Details, details. :-)

So perhaps the scientists are not quite as clueless as the article
seems to paint them; but they do surely seem to be somewhat
communications challenged- if their chef-partners are thinking
what the quotes indicate..


MiscellanyEsq said...

Ha! Total brain freeze mind boggle whatever, is right! I'm at a loss for words.

Anonymous said...

So will I still have to go to a "grocery" store and buy new printer cartridges for this thing, or will the city be building an infrastructure to pipe the HFCS directly into my house?

Rosa said...

Okay, that's just gross. And weird. Who wants to eat layers of pureed food?!
Ugh. . .

Kendra said...

I sent the BBC article to my husband, and he replied with this from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

"Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser The Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser is a product of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation The Guide has this to say on the Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser:When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain to see what is likely to be well received. However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." .

Unknown said...

I didn't see anything about where they expect raw materials to come from. Even on Star Trek, the replicator used specially stored raw material or recycled "food waste".

And I already have the amazing ability to take specially stored raw material and recycled "food waste" (at my house, we call that "leftovers") and prepare food.


Darren (Green Change) said...

Next they'll invent little capsules that you just insert in the ground, add water, and food grows :-).

knutty knitter said...

I know cooking is not really my all time favourite despite doing it three times a day forever but........HUH!!!

Probably tastes like cardboard :)

viv in nz

SharleneT said...

I'm glad I'll be off the planet when this new wave enters the mainstream! Hee hee... You have definitely boggled my mind... come visit when you can don't forget to check my other blog, Rockin' Chair Reflections, too.

Susan Och said...

You just come on over to my house and I'll cook you a nice supper.

Olivia said...

My understanding is that the printer just spits out paper that tastes like whatever . . . not the actual food itself. Could be wrong.

I think it's hilarious. Flavoured chewable paper. Wonder if we can get it through airport security??? Wonder if the fact that I typed airport security in this comment will send up red flags somewhere?

sealander said...

Judging by the recipe included with the article, it looks like all they’ve done is make some cookie dough (the old fashioned way even, raw ingredients had to be mixed up in a bowl and all). Then the dough has been put in some syringes and squirted out in a three dimensional shape…….as opposed to rolling it and using a cookie cutter. The gee whiz factor seems to be that a computer controlled the squirting – when any half way competent 6 year old could splat a spoonful of batter on a baking sheet. Now if they’d taken a slurry of amino acids and popped out a block of something that tasted vaguely like chicken, I might be impressed 
Given the myriad array of kitchen appliances cluttering kitchen counters now, I can’t see this competing, if they ever even get it into commercial production. I’m betting that for hygiene purposes anything using syringes would be a pain in the butt to clean and they’d probably deal with that by using disposable parts – might be just like the commercial model for inkjet printers now, where the printers are cheap and they make all the money on the cartridges.