6 Ways Our Food Tech Has Surpassed 'Back to the Future'

By Noah Kaufman |

© AF archive / Alamy

In case you missed it yesterday, the calendar switched over and we are now living in a different year. Here are a few quick facts about 2015:

1.     It will be the Chinese year of the sheep.

2.     It is the “International Year of Light,” according to the United Nations.

3.     It is the year that Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future II.

That’s right. Back in 1989, Robert Zemeckis shared his vision of what the future would hold. And now that it’s 2015, we can see how his predictions turned out. Some things that seemed crazy back in 1989 actually have come to pass. There are now actually flying cars and hoverboards. But on the food front, the most advanced thing in the McFly household was a food hydrator. It turned a tiny, dried-out, DVD-sized pizza into a regular, hot, edible dish. That hasn’t happened. But in a number of ways, our food technology has far surpassed the novelty of rehydrating a pizza.

1. 3-D food printing

We’ve watched as 3-D printing technology has rapidly jumped forward in the last year. There are now machines that will print everything from pizza to chocolate bars with the push of a button.

2. Zero-gravity espresso

We might not have colonized Mars yet, but we have figured out how to make coffee in space. The first espresso machine started brewing on the International Space Station in November.

3. Zapping hops into your beer

Beer is thousands of years old, and the method for making it has changed very little in the last couple millennia. But recently, British engineers figured out a way to customize the flavor of beer in seconds rather than weeks, making  it hoppier, sweeter or more herbaceous with a super high-pressure tap system.

4. Breathable food

We no longer have to go to the trouble of actually eating our food. At the Café ArtScience in Boston, patrons can inhale from pods full of dried food particles and nutrients for a totally different way to experience dinner. You can also get Scotch vapor if you think the liquid is just a bit too heavy.

5. Serving robots

After a long day at work, there is nothing better than a cold beer and no one better to bring it to you than a slightly unsettling robot. The company 21st Century Robot released kits so you can actually build yourself a robot butler in the comfort of your own futuristic home.

6. Artificially intelligent chefs

IBM utilized the super computing power that helped it destroy two brilliant human beings in Jeopardy for use in the kitchen. The company can now have its computer Watson generate recipes for dishes that our puny human brains could never conceive of, like chocolate burritos.

So take that, Back to the Future. We don’t need your rehydrated pizza. Although we could totally go for one of those auto-drying jackets

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