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Liquid meals – are they the future?

For many people, everyday working life is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to plan. This is creating an urgent need for flexible and – above all – fast food. In many places, the offering has become both more varied and more innovative. Fast food doesn’t even have to mean forgoing a healthy, balanced diet. Technological innovations and digitization are key drivers behind developments in time-saving food trends.

 

Here’s a familiar situation: Your stomach is growling, you’re finding it harder to concentrate, but there simply isn’t time for a quick meal break in your busy working day. At moments like these, meal replacement products such as Soylent and JimmyJoy are an alternative. At least for people who view time spent eating as time wasted.

Former software developer and now CEO of Soylent, Rob Rhinehart, found eating such a nuisance that he wanted to minimize time spent on meals. His practical solution: shakes! A few years ago, they were largely still frowned upon, but today they are generally accepted. In some big cities and trendy circles, they are already a part of everyday life.

Soylent was launched in the US market in 2013, and has since become a cult drink in Silicon Valley. What was previously just fuel for athletes has now gained mass-market appeal. However, according to behavioral psychologist Helene Karmasin, this new “efficiency” also promotes convenience, speed and passiveness.

Some people may have issues with the idea of a future in which our “food” consists of pills, shakes and powders. But this development is not actually all that new, even if the trend has intensified in recent years. We have long been familiar with the concept of astronaut food and energy bars for athletes. The smoothie is another well-known version of this trend. With maximum efficiency, it manages to appeal to a wide audience by combining everything in one drink.

“Print your food”

Food preparation is set to undergo further revolution in the near future. You can already “order” pizza and pasta from a 3D printer at the touch of a button. But you still have to prepare the ingredients first. In a few years, however, we may be able to print all our favorite foods whenever and wherever we want, without any input of our own. Of course, then all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in our food will also be perfectly balanced and tailored to meet our individual daily needs.

In any event, these are exciting times for food technology, whether or not you like to follow the latest trends. Being innovative also means being open to experimentation. Willy Wonka in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” knew that. Some of his strange inventions could soon become reality. Is that a reason to celebrate or cause for concern?

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