Project Nourished: Paving the Way for a Future Without Food?

Remember Soylent, the meal-replacement slurry marketed towards humanoids who hate their own metabolism and wish they could just be robots already? Kokiri Lab in L.A. is looking to one-up that depressing experience by opening up new realms of non-food. After all, Soylent initially made you fart a lot, so there’s room for improvement there.

[jump] Project Nourished is Kokiri’s virtual reality enterprise designed to help overweight people, diabetics and anyone whose brain requires elaborate deception to get them to stop eating to excess. It works thusly: You put on a VR headset, listen to the sound of what you’re “eating,” and use a special smart fork to scoop up some space-age pectin that tastes like the thing it’s a joyless facsimile of. The stuff is made with agar, gum arabic, and other naturally derived viscous hydrocolloids, and the makers claim they can replicate texture to some degree. Because it contains zero calories, the substance will provide satiation without making you sicker or larger.

The only drawback is that it’s really sad, although sadness might make you lose your appetite, turning it into a net positive. But the developers claim inspiration from the scene in Hook where Robin Williams’ Peter Pan has to imagine a feast, so at least they’re not cyborgs to the core.

If this should leave academia and enter the market as a real consumer product, people will no doubt rationalize it away due to its resemblance to Jell-O: same gelatinous texture, same gem-toned hues. But it looks more like what people might eat to survive a nuclear winter, or on a voyage to Alpha Centauri. For now, carrots and apples and rainbow chard are still plentiful, people. Go enjoy some.

[Via Modern Farmer]

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