Friday, June 05, 2009

Synthetic Food

In his book In Defense Of Food , Micheal Pollan recommends not eating anything that our great grandmothers or great great grandmothers would not recognize to be food. That makes for good, common-sense, relatively easy to follow advise. I have recalled it while grocery shopping ever since I read the book. Following it seriously is a whole different thing.

The molecular gastronomy people on the other hand have created the first completely synthetic food. They have a worthy cause too :

"If you use pure compounds, you open up billions and billions of new possibilities,” Mr This said. “It's like a painter using primary colours or a musician composing note by note.”

He says compound cooking will enthral our taste buds — or, rather, our trigeminal nerve — and help to end food shortages and rural poverty because farmers could increase profitability by “fractioning their vegetables”.

I was listening to a story on NPR recently on the unraveling of Punjab's Green Revolution. I imagine, if synthetic food goes mainstream, those nutrient depleted, pesticide resistance fields would be replaced by chemical factories to produce the billions and billions of new possibilities in food Mr. This has in mind.

Whenever I read the phrases
end food shortage and rural poverty, the image of third world farmers being coerced into farming practices that they are not comfortable with comes to mind - the Green Revolution was once touted as the best thing that happened to Punjab.

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