Grandpa, can I print you some lunch?

Can you imagine this email going out?

“Dear Jon Rutter – we have had a lot more elderly customers in our restaurant lately and some of them are “chew challenged” so please can you ensure that your stocktaker adds the new “smoothfood” products to our inventory. Chef will send through the menu choices later. Oh and we also need to budget for one of those 3-D things so we can print their food out for them – sincerely Restrauteur, from Pull-the-Other-One Diner”

Starter, entree, mains & dessert!

Starter, entree, mains & dessert!

Some German scientists/cooks have developed gel-food using molecular gastronomy as an alternative to folk who find it difficult to chew their food. The process works by taking the real McCoy and then using Heston-style alchemy turning it into easy-to-swallow gel that is then put through some kind of 3-D printer to present the food in the shapes and colours the normal dish would look like. The report is not too clear on how it works but I suspect that it is much the same as a cookie cutter might operate – put in the ingredients and pop out the finished article.

However, regardless of how much they paid the photographer though, the finished product doesn’t look like it would tickle the old taste buds. Just like taking a pill as a substitute for an entire meal in science fiction movies didn’t seem to appeal to everyone either. I wonder if this will take off?

What might take off, however is the trick an American brewer has revealed that allows a person to drink without getting drunk! Jim Koch says that taking a teaspoon of yeast before you drink will stop you getting drunk. He adds that taking in dry yeast isn’t too palatable so suggests that it can be added into yoghurt. He is also quick to point out that the process doesn’t completely eliminate the effects of alcohol, just reduces it.

Apparently the yeast transforms the alcohol into carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules so before the alcohol reaches the brain it is effectively “neutralized” before it causes drunkenness. Which is fine for people who do not suffer from gluten intolerance – for those who do, moderation is still the key!

Publicans might have to ask their stocktakers to source a good stock of yoghurt and dry yeast for their patrons so they can also offer this remedy to their punters. Some would be forgiven in thinking that this concoction now gives new meaning to the term “gastro pub.”

Even supermarket chains have taken to using ‘science’ to attract their customers and sell their wares. Have you ever wondered why, after a few weeks the item you always found in aisle 6 has been moved to a gondola in aisle 2? Or that the size of mayonnaise bottle you really want is on the bottom shelf and the packet of flour your family uses now appears next to bottles of beetroot instead of with other baking products?

The answer is all down to the marketing schemes and tactics psychologists suggest the supermarkets use to keep us buying things we don’t really want, or things that we weren’t thinking about but end up filling our trolleys with. And beware the red stickers – they doesn’t always mean a “special discount” – they can also mean “danger, higher price!”

Some shoppers prefer to forego science and technology and stick to a shopping list, eat what they like and drink in moderation – yeast free!

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