There are a lot of conversations around the question: Will 3D food printers eliminate the need for people to have basic cooking skills and know where food comes from?
Here are two real comments in the press and social media about 3D food printing:
“3D food printers further remove consumers from the source of their food and from any skills in home cooking and meal preparation.”
“What a lazy society we are living in folks.” (With regards to a future of adding 3D food printers to our lives.)
These are only two, there are many more comments in this realm.
Some people think that a generation or two after 3D food printers become common in kitchens, that a majority of the human race will not know how to cook at all, nor will they know exactly what goes in their food.
This is not our vision. And we put forth that 3D food printing - at least the way we are approaching it - will actually INCREASE cooking skills and enable people to know MORE about what’s in our food.
Foodini comes with empty stainless steel food capsules. This means you are not forced to buy pre-filled food capsules. Instead, you control the ingredients used with Foodini. Want to use fresh foods? We welcome it.
One of my favorite pictures to show when I’m on stage giving a presentation is this picture of spinach quiche dinosaurs:
There is a personal story behind it: One day I made a spinach quiche for dinner. A normal quiche, in a typical circular shape, like a pie. Green was also my son’s favorite color, so I told my kids as we’re having green pie for dinner. How exciting! Or, maybe not... my kids weren’t having any of it. I finally convinced them to try a bite, which they did. But they both said they didn’t like it. Fine, no one likes every single food.
But then I tried an experiment. A few weeks later, I printed the same exact spinach quiche recipe in the shape of dinosaurs, influenced by my son’s toy dinosaurs (also in the picture above.) Result? My dinosaurs became extinct very quickly! ;-) Fun side note: people ask how I got the brown stripe down the back of some of the dinosaur prints. My secret? Those were the ones in the back of the oven that I almost burned. :-)
Same exact recipe, different shape. That’s all it took for my kids to each spinach quiche. Parenting win for getting kids to eat spinach!
But the other point here is addressing the generalization around 3D food printing where people will not know the source of their food and remove any skills in home cooking and meal preparation. We were using home cooking and meal preparation skills because we – including with help from my kids - made the dough and the spinach filling with our own ingredients.
We didn’t just rip open a box of pre-made spinach quiche in the shape of dinosaurs (does that even exist?!), not knowing exactly what the food manufacturer put into the food.
Instead, we used fresh ingredients to prepare the dough and the spinach filling to put into Foodini’s stainless steel food capsules. We knew exactly what ingredients were in our dinosaurs. From the type of flour used in the dough, to the dash of nutmeg added to the spinach mixture. We used whole spinach. We frequently visit a local farm. And as we drive into the farm grounds, we pass by some of the farms’ fields and see crops growing in the ground. One day we see spinach in those fields. That’s the opposite of not knowing the source of the food… we know exactly where spinach comes from.
Even if you don't source all of your food where it's made or grown (like buying spinach in a supermarket versus going to the farm), with Foodini and its stainless steel food capsules that allow you to use fresh ingredients, people can indeed increase cooking skills and know more about what’s in our food. Nothing lazy about that.
Full disclosure, I’m co-Founder of Natural Machines, the makers of Foodini: a 3D food printer. Foodini makes all kinds of savory and sweet foods using fresh, real ingredients. With Foodini, this is real food... 3D printed.