The future has arrived and it comes in the form of 3D printed edible food. 3D printing has taken off in the last couple of years, with application to major industries including medicine, arms, fashion, art, music, automobiles and is even been developed to print full size houses. The next technological step has been the recent advancement to printing food.
Cornell’s printing lab discovered that it was possible to produce create edible food using 3D Printing. This is done by additive machinery, where food is squeezed out layer by layer until a 3D object is formed. A large variety of foods are appropriate candidates, such as chocolate and candy, and flat foods such as crackers, pasta, and pizza.
Hershey’s have got in on the action too, creating this alien-ish chocolate kiss that apparently tastes exactly the same as their normal chocolate (not that it tasted great to begin with but at least it looks cool).
They’ve even started to release a home-printer that is small and simple to use. You select an item from their database and after a few minutes you have a bowl of alien sweets.
Printing seems like an appealing option for the future of sustainable food. By building food using long-life food or food-like ingredients we can cut waste and make use of alternative proteins. With current food systems being unable to supply the entire world with enough nutritious food, it certainly brings us one step in the right direction for producing more with less.
But there are still major problems with this advancement – if we continue to perceive food as man made and processed then we will fail to meet our own nutritional needs, never mind our children’s generation. There is an overwhelming need to move away from high sugar, salt and fatty processed foods and, unfortunately, the current status of 3D food printing is bringing this exact approach to the future of food.
While it has huge potential for world hunger and sustainable food sources, printing food may be a step in the wrong direction in terms of feeding the world healthily.
That being said, that doesn’t stop being being impressive by the creation of this cool but useless ‘pancakebot’ that can make pancakes in any shape you program it too.
It’ll be exciting to see what the future of 3D printing can do for the health food industry, provided that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. For now we will have to rely on our measly human powers to create healthy and clean pancakes – here’s a simple and healthy recipe for you to have a go at this pancake day.
Sweet or savoury buckwheat pancakes:
1 cup Buckwheat flour (can use normal plain flour)
2 cups Almond milk (can use normal milk)
Coconut oil/any oil of your choice
5 sliced mushrooms
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 chopped avocado
1 tablespoon pesto (to taste)
1 teaspoon miso glaze
1 pinch chilli flakes
Few slices goats cheese (to taste)
Balsamic glaze (to taste)
2 chopped bananas
1 pinch cinnamon
1. Whisk flour and eggs in a bowl. Add milk and season with salt and pepper
2. Heat pan and melt coconut oil. Spoon pancake mixture onto pan (should be thin).
3. Wait about 5 mins or until the pancake bubbles a little
5. When the pancake is brown and bubbles, flip the pancake and cook for a further 2 mins
4. For savoury pancakes: slice the mushrooms and fry lightly in a pan with coconut oil . Add spinach, miso glaze, chilli flakes, salt and pepper, cook until soft.
6. Add the vegetable mix to the pancake and top with pesto and balsamic glaze
7. For the sweet pancakes: pre-make nutella by mixing hazelnuts in a blender for 15 mins and adding coco powder.
8. Spread the nutella on the pancake and top with sliced banana and cinnamon
Here are some more pancake inspiration photos from followers you used my hashtag thethinkingkitchen – click on these photos to visit their amazing sites: