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Eating is a visceral, analogue experience, but is technology changing the way we taste? Aleks Krotoski explores how tech is changing not just food, but also we eaters ourselves.

Food is a universal necessity, human brains light up more for food than any other experience, so it's little wonder that food culture has exploded online. Social media is festooned with pictures, recipes, cooking videos and we can't seem to ever get enough.

But, is the digital world doing more than getting our mouths watering? Could technology be changing the very way we taste?

In this episode, Aleks Krotoski explores how food trends develop and shape our culture and spread on social media, as well as exploring new tech that may change the way we eat - from 3D printed delights, to Chef Watson who creates recipes in the cloud, and even how we might manipulate our brains to change how we perceive flavour.

Producer: Elizabeth Ann Duffy.

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30 minutes

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Elizabeth Atia

Elizabeth Atia
Elizabeth Atia is one of Britain’s top 20 food bloggers, and quite possibly the most northerly. She talks to us about how blogging changed the way she way she cooks, and the two way relationship between blogger and reader.

Kjeld Van Bommel

Kjeld Van Bommel
Dr. Kjeld van Bommel a senior consultant at TNO in the Netherlands. He tells us about his work on 3D printed food, including the Performance Project which is bringing back the pleasure of eating to patients who can no longer chew, and shares that some people may have already eaten printed food without even knowing it.

Ailbhe Malone

Ailbhe Malone
Ailbhe Malone is the head of Lifestyle at Buzzfeed UK. She tells us about Proper Tasty, and explains why the short, snappy, recipe videos have exploded in popularity on social media.

Florian Pinel

Florian Pinel
Florian Pinel is the lead Engineer on IBM’s Chef Watson. He tells us how Chef Watson creates strange, surprising, yet tasty recipes using Computational Cooking.

David Sax

David Sax

David Sax is a journalist, foodie and author of the Tastemakers. He explains the power of food trends and how they spread and evolve to change our collective taste.


Photo Credit: Christopher Farber

Charles Spence

Charles Spence

Professor Charles Spence a cognitive psychologist, author of The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining, and head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at The University of Oxford. He tells us how Taste affects the brain, and how our sensory perceptions of food can be manipulated and changed.

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