Many of us have have grown up in an era where internet connections were signified by the beeping and whirring of a dial-up modem and printing a simple text document was a painstakingly slow and convoluted process, assuming you could get the computer to talk to the printer in the first place!
To even begin to imagine that in 2014 we would have the technology to 3D print our own food would have been seen as lunacy.
That’s why the arrival of the Foodini is going to be a real eye-opener for many, many people. It’s described by its manufacturers as “the first 3D-food printer to print all types of real, fresh, nutritious foods, from savoury to sweet”. Though it may look like something from Star Trek: The Next Generation, that needs an engineering degree to operate, one of it’s main selling points is apparently its ease of use.
The implications of this advancement are huge. Placing food printers in households might allow people to cheaply and effectively synthesise their own food. However, it raises the questions, how would the idea of printing out your own burger compare to the whole experience of walking into McDonalds and ordering the largest and greasiest burger you can for under £5? Will the general public be accepting of the idea of printing out their own food without fully understanding the process of how it is made? And could we be taking all of the fun out of food?
These are questions that can only be answered when these printers become readily available at an affordable price. Until then, we can simply revel in the fact that the future of food production could be in the hands of even the clumsiest nerd. Though maybe they should just stick to their modems…