Eating Insects, Ingesting Nanobots: The Future of Food Trends Just May Change the World

Posted by on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 with 4 Comments

The office is a veritable breeding ground for quirky food trends: your in-the-know coworker wants to go wait in line for ramen-noodle burgers at lunch, while your organic-foods-crazed boss insists on ordering the latest artisan pizza toppings. It can be eye-opening or maybe even a little annoying… but, these kinds of food trends aren’t exactly changing the way we eat or how we live.

ramen burger in wrapper

The ramen burger may be neat, but it’s not changing the world.
Image source: Flickr user Arnold Gatilao

On a more serious end of the food trend spectrum, though, some potentially revolutionary ideas may do just that. From futuristic technological innovations to a potential shift in how we define the concept of “edible,” these latest innovations just may change the world. Get ahead of the office foodies by learning about these truly important culinary trends (no offense, cronuts):

Insects for dinner

Imagine a food packed with protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins. It’s incredibly efficient to raise — potentially twelve times more than cattle — and very affordable. So put down the flyswatter and pick up your fork: it’s time to start eating bugs. That’s right; entomophagy, or eating insects, is gaining considerable traction in the forward-thinking food world. Bugs have long been eaten around the world, and are finally beginning to pop up on restaurant menus in the U.S. And, according to their proponents, bugs can taste really good. As author Daniella Martin describes in Slate: “Crickets, for instance, taste like nutty shrimp, whereas most larvae I’ve tried have a nutty mushroom flavor. My two favorites, wax moth caterpillars (aka wax worms) and bee larvae, taste like enoki-pine nut and bacon-chanterelle, respectively.” Now the only question is… are crickets eligible for Meatless Monday menus?

edible crickets

Edible insects have long been a dietary staple in many cultures.
Image source: Flickr user Sarah

Ingestible nanobots

Not exactly food, not quite medicine… ingestible nanobots are literally tiny computers that you eat. While this “trend” may sound more like science fiction than ramen-noodle burgers, the pill-like microcomputers are already being heavily funded and tested in the UK. It works like this: after you swallow the pill-like computers, the nanobots function like sensors and transmitters, measuring your internal biorhythms (heart rate, bone density, vitamin levels, etc.) and reporting that information back to you – or your doctor. While privacy is an obvious concern, some proponents liken ingestible nanobots to the next logical step along the path being laid by Google Glass and even fitness wristbands. If knowledge is power, ingestible nanobots have the potential to transform how we think about taking care of ourselves.

food wrapper litter

Will WikiCells reduce food packaging waste in the future?
Image source: Flickr user Nomadic Lass

Edible packaging

There’s no denying that we’re hooked on fast food, partly due to its oh-so-irresistible combination of salt and fat, and partly because it’s so darn convenient. WikiCell, the brainchild of a Harvard bioengineer, wants to capitalize on our preference for all things portable, while helping the environment at the same time. WikiCells are edible and/or biodegradable packaging for food: think the skin of a grape, only chocolate-flavored and wrapped around coffee or ice cream. In most cases, you eat the packaging right along with the food. In a few other instances, WikiCell products will function like an orange skin: you don’t eat it, but it’s fully biodegradable, and creates no excess waste. The membranes of Wikicell products are made from a combination of natural food particles and binding carbohydrates, creating a protective — yet edible — membrane. While most of the current WikiCell offerings are small and grape-like in size, in a WikiCell future, the sandwich you pick up from the deli won’t be wrapped in paper, but in another part of your sandwich.

These food trends may have the potential to change the world, but at Waiter.com, we just want to change the way your food gets to you! We offer plentiful menus, easy online ordering, and fast delivery — along with our innovative Virtual Cafeteria Service, making it a breeze to feed an office full of hungry employees on a regular, reliable basis. Now that’s a trend any workplace can get behind!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — Waiter.com is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & deliveryWaiter.com offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

4 responses to “Eating Insects, Ingesting Nanobots: The Future of Food Trends Just May Change the World”

  1. Kyle E. says:

    It is truly an amazing to live in the times that we do and I am always fascinated to hear about technological advancement. You have brought to light a particularly eerie aspect of improving technology in the field of nano robotics. It is absolutely scary to think that there are minuscule machines equipped with microprocessors small enough to ingest. It brings to mind the mysterious disease of ‘Morgellen’s Disease’ because of a recent study by a scientist who claims to have discovered nanotechnology within the fibers growing out of peoples skin. This article just goes to show that there may be some truth in his claim and it brings a shudder as I think about the way these technologies could also be used to harm people instead of help them. I truly hope that only good comes from nano technology but I’m sure that won’t be the case. I’m thankful for your article bringing awareness to this rise in nanotechnology because I think we are already at a point where we can be affected by it yet it is hardly every spoken of in news media.

    • Sara says:

      It’s true, I was shocked to hear about this new technology as well! I think many people believe it’s still in the realm of science fiction instead of reality. In any case, there are certainly incredible possibilities when it comes to nanotechnology… as with all advances, some good and some bad.

  2. ben says:

    I can already tell that I am going to be a ridiculously rigid, old curmudgeon. I am struggling even accepting the technology that is out on the market today. I will never ingest nanobots unless they are going to cure the cancer I am inevitably going to get. It is crazy to me that a healthy individual would ever willingly gobble down nanobots. I am absolutely behind the idea of eating insects though. I have already eaten grasshoppers before. If well seasoned, they taste good. Insects dominate the world. We should start eating them since we seem to eat everything else. Edible packaging is also a good idea. We can reduce our waste. We can just devour everything.

    • Sara says:

      Ben, agreed that it’s crazy to think we’d willingly eat nanobots… but then a lot of things that we take for granted today seemed crazy 20 years ago! It’ll be interesting to see how this brave new world unfolds!

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