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5 Strange Food Inventions You’ve Never Heard Of

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5 Strange Food Inventions You’ve Never Heard Of

By Rachel Cernansky, Planet Green

The chefs on Future Food are changing our relationship with food, but they’re not the only ones working on crazy inventions in food technology. Here’s a look at a few other ideas that are already becoming a reality.

3D food printer. A bit more of an unexpected way to deliver food, and a little mind-numbing, is “The Cornucopia,” a machine developed by a team at MIT that literally prints food. The printer contains canisters with foods and flavors–think ink cartridges with edible ingredients–and uses a rapid heating and cooling chamber to create a unique combination of flavors and textures.

Space plants. You’ve probably heard of hydroponics–and more recently aquaponics–but aeroponics takes efficiency in food-growing to a whole new level by growing plants suspended in mid-air using only water and a nutrient-laden mist. Although it is less forgiving than hydroponics, since plants grown using aeroponics need a precise nutrient-water balance, it is far more efficient: the method uses up to 90 percent less water, 60 percent less fertilizer, and 100 percent less pesticides than conventional cultivation, and allows plants to capture carbon dioxide and oxygen more effectively.

Next: A step beyond vending machines, and food that can heat itself…

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Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


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7:52AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

Sorry but i'm not sure what to think!

11:15AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

5:19PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012


4:41PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Thanks for posting Megan.

12:57PM PST on Jan 16, 2011

Thanks for sharing this...Food Printers...what a hoot. But I do like the idea of it uses 100% less fertilizer

4:43AM PST on Nov 24, 2010

Isn't printed food like fake food?

3:16AM PST on Nov 7, 2010

space plants and cold beer please

8:16AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

From Tempra's website:
We’re ready to start working with strategic partners to incorporate our technology into containers and packaging for mass production to enable consumers to enjoy a hot meal whenever and wherever they want.
Sounds ot me like this will be something incorporated into existing packaging of 'convenience' foods like microwavable meals.
I would imaging that it will be one-use.

Wonder if it is similar to the instant freeze packs used in first-aid kits? They use chemicals, mixed by breaking a vial inside a plastic bag, to make the pack cold within seconds.
MRE's (meals-ready-to-eat, used by the military) have heating technology, so the food is hot. That's nothing new.

If this is all throw-away, one-use stuff, i'm definitely not interested, even if it is environmentally safe, biodegradable, still nothing I would want, and certainly not willing to pay a premium for, as they state on their web site.

6:07AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

Thanks for the info.

3:55AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

That stuff is a hoot. Thanks.

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