The Future of Food
Hardly a day goes by without a media story popping up that derides some facet of food science and its presumed negative effects on the health and wellness of consumers and the environment. The “culprits” in these stories are legion: genetically modified organisms, artificial flavors (or any
added flavors), food processing—the list goes on and on and on.
Stay Informed, Stay Connected
Isabella Campbell (Renessenz) and Jeb Gleason-Allured (P&F Magazine) during
the joint Society of Flavor Chemists, Chemical Sources Association, and Women
in Flavor & Fragrance Commerce breakfast meeting during the Institute of Food
Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago; coverage starts on
So imagine my surprise when, as I was assembling the final
touches on Flavorcon ( www.flavorcon.com), I read this:
In virtually every realm of human existence, we
turn to technology to help us solve our problems.
But even in Silicon Valley, when it comes to food
and obesity, technology—or at least food-processing
technology—is widely treated as if it is the problem.
The solution, from this viewpoint, necessarily involves
turning our back on it.
If the most-influential voices in our food culture
today get their way, we will achieve a genuine food
revolution. Too bad it would be one tailored to the
dubious health fantasies of a small, elite minority. And
too bad it would largely exclude the obese masses, who
would continue to sicken and die early.
This was the conclusion of “How Junk Food Can End Obesity,”
author David H. Freedman’s analysis of the benefits of food
science and the food industry in the July/August 2013 issue of
The Atlantic ( www.theatlantic.com).
Just a few weeks later, on July 23, The New York Times’
( www.nytimes.com) Stephanie Strom published “Food Corporations
Turn to Chefs in a Quest for Healthy Flavor,” an exploration of
the ways in which product developers are leveraging the expertise
of research chefs in producing healthier, better-tasting products
featuring reduced sugar, fat and salt levels.
Two stories does not a trend make, but it was refreshing to see
the role the flavor, food and beverage industries are playing in
shaping balanced, consumer-accepted dietary options across the
generational and demographic spectrum. Feeding the world will
require more than locavore restaurants and rooftop gardening.
Technology, chemistry, organoleptic know-how and consumer
insights will drive the future of food, even as the world in which
consumers live continues to evolve.
Here’s to technology and those who embrace it.
See you next month.
Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor in Chief
November 18–19, 2013
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Atlantic City, NJ