Printing Your Dinner

Orange Ink (Hold the Pulp?)

image credit: m_bartosch/

If the  Cornell Creative Machines Lab has its way, you could soon be printing your dinner, and chef schools, including the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, may be adding food printing technology to its lists of courses. Food printing changes the way food is mixed, prepared, shaped and eaten. It could bring about a whole new expertise in the cutthroat careers of  gourmet chefs. It could also change the way you shop for food and eat it.

After reading several craptastically researched articles on food printing, I figured out that the ink is liquified food mixed with “natural” liquids to keep the mixture stable while printing. While I’m a bit wary of what’s in those “natural” liquids, what the heck, there are so many additives in processed food, what’s one more? You need a food printer with extruders to print the food, and voila, you are in business.

So why print food? Because it’s now proven that you can. You can now print large foods to be deep-fried. What does that mean? For all you fried candy bar lovers, you can now deep fry your specially printed jumbo Snickers bar without burning the outside and leaving the inside, um, raw. You can also print rocket- or fun-shaped food out of healthy stuff like peas to get your kids to eat their veggies. I, however, think kids are not that stupid. I know I will not be eating space shuttles made from lima beans (a.k.a. “slimer beans”) at my house any time soon. And can you imagine how boring food shopping will become? Rows upon rows of food ink cartridges. I hope they are not going to be as expensive as my HP printer cartridges…



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