Throughout time immemorial, we have learned about, farmed, sourced, prepared, gathered, and shared food in a variety of ways. We are an odd species, and as the planet’s single most dominant subgroup of mammals, humans are no strangers to adapting to new food trends; whether it’s cooking our food over eating it raw, to washing, preparing, and storing food – knowledge, technology, and innovation have always played a massive role in changing the way we view food and use our kitchens.
It’s less about the fundamentals of food preparation and ingredient awareness these days, and more about food industry awareness, the immense health benefits and risks associated with various forms of food growth and cultivation, and a newfound obsession with knowing where our food comes from, how it got to our kitchens, and who grew it. Lets dig deep to learn how technology is transforming the way we behave, use, and interact with our kitchens.
There is no doubt that modern technology has a significant impact on our lives. The vast majority of people spend up to four hours every day staring at a screen, and this does not stop when we enter the kitchen. We look at ethnic and regional recipes to broaden our culinary horizons, read online reviews and opinions about the ease of various recipes, and use our smartphones on a regular basis to access this knowledge, exchange ideas, and further the advancement of new human culinary behaviors. Never before has so much information been at our fingertips, and it’s influencing how we spend our time in the kitchen.
Technology has transformed not just how we behave in the kitchen, but it has also changed our taste senses and how we buy food. Computers and smartphones can take us to a local food distributor, the best coffee establishment, or a natural foods store that carries that tempeh you adore. Apps enable us to order food and have it delivered to our homes without having to go to the grocery store, and there are literally hundreds of applications that will help you map out and evaluate your weekly eating routine in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
Social media refers to a wide range of tools and technologies that enable and disseminate peer-to-peer content creation and user-generated content. From a social and dietary standpoint, social media is thus the single most potent advancer of food culture. Have you ever taken a picture of your dinner and shared it on social media? According to a recent survey, one-third of the population has – and this advances and promotes food culture, as well as how we behave and engage with our own culinary methods and kitchens. Because of the increasing number of single-parent households and longer working hours, our species has never seen so many people dine alone. We have an idyllic mental image of a family dining together, yet an increasing percentage of people increasingly cook and dine alone. That has influenced what and how well we prepare for ourselves – but there are alternatives.
The Muk-bang social media trend – translating to “eating room” – is a webcam-based social media phenomena in which a person consumes a large amount of food while live streaming the experience. This is mostly a display of eating ability, but an increasing number of individuals are utilizing it to establish a virtual companion with whom to chat. There are an absolutely massive, vast, and seemingly infinite number of food blogs, food forums, and social media groups these days that use the connective power of the internet and its various social media platforms to connect and unify entire populations of chefs, recipe hunters, and amateur at-home cooks. They provide restaurant reviews, recipes, dining experiences, and cooking techniques in order to broaden and showcase the world of food.
Appliances enable us to cook. Our kitchens house our appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, and ovens. Today’s technology is not only some of the most efficient we have ever had access to; it’s also some of the fastest, most delicate, and most powerful, and there’s a strong push to further link our appliances and how we cook with our social media and entertainment platforms. Here are a few examples:
When you hit a button on an app, smart kettles can begin boiling your tea. Aside from traditional toasting, certain toasters can now thaw and reheat foods. Most modern refrigerators and freezers include frost-free and auto-defrost functions. Microwaves can now grill, defrost, and some even include convection technology, allowing them to be used as ovens.
Modern technology is transforming and changing the food we eat in both positive and negative ways. Food cultivation and security are hot topics these days, as the global population approaches 9 billion people and the environment continues to shift and throw us curve balls. Modern science is transforming how food is grown and how we can support our population – but this comes with consequences.
In theory, genetically modified foods are a food thing – make more food on a huge scale, in less time, for less money, and with fewer resources; sounds like the perfect solution to a world that is struggling to feed everyone. Biotechnology is now being employed in genetically engineering foods to resist pests and herbicides, boost yields, and grow foods outside of their original ecozones. GMO technology swiftly led to genetically modified seeds and, soon after, genetically modified meat, to accelerate the speed of animal growth or to add proteins or nutrients to the meat.
Modern technology is allowing us to track, evaluate, and alter the modern food industry, as well as the methods we cook food in our own homes. It’s bringing us together, allowing us to explore our globe and form new perspectives on different civilizations. Technology is assisting in the creation of a contemporary definition of family and how we interact with our loved ones and other people in the heart of our homes. The kitchen we know today may evolve, but the distinguishing traits will always remain: the kitchen is where we gather, eat, and become ourselves.