Future Trends: Food
This is a selection from Humanly, Issue 02, which focuses on Generation Z and teen culture.
While everyone’s talking about how virtual reality (VR) will revolutionize the areas of travel, art, gaming, and film, it’s VR’s health implications that could really benefit billions of people’s lives. Atkins, South Beach, and Zone seem like small potatoes (pun intended!) compared to the potential of the VR diet:
Issue 02 • 2016 Get Issue 02
By combining VR headsets with oxygen tubes placed at the wearers nostrils—piping in the visuals and scents of a certain food—VR essentially hacks users’ brains into thinking that they’re consuming their favorite flavors, while they actually eat an entirely different and healthier substance that’s devoid of calories, meat, gluten, food allergens, what-have-you. Project Nourished, a VR eating experience by designer Jinsoo An, promises “the culinary experience of a lifetime” while employing the VR palate trick on cubes of gelatin 3D-printed to match the taste and consistency of favorite foods such as donuts and sushi. In Tokyo, the Meta-Cookie project, created by professor Takuji Narumi, layers flavors like chocolate, lemon, and strawberries over a simple sugar cookie. Beyond helping you drop a few pounds, a VR diet could also reduce the consumption of unsustainable, endangered, and high-carbon-footprint foods (like meat, fish, almonds, and avocados), and could even create a new realm of fictional foods, bringing to life the gastronomical imaginings of books and films (think dining in the clouds of Neverland with Peter Pan, for example).
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