MindBullets 20 Years


Synthetic Biologists say it’s not what it seems

The sugar taxes did not work, the juice cleanses came and went, and now that obesity rates have broken through the roof, it’s time for us to try something different.

In 2016 Oxford scientists created oranges that tasted and smelled like grapefruit. They were driven by purely economic reasons back then, as it took about 400,000kg of grapefruits to produce 1kg of grapefruit flavouring for use in other food products such as sweets and drinks.

From there the technology improved exponentially as Synthetic Biologists have now managed to make one of the biggest fights ever, unnecessary: Mom trying to force her 5-year-old to eat his broccoli. No more tantrums and no more bargaining, because as of yesterday little Munchkin can eat broccoli that tastes like watermelon. Yes, that’s right, the taste argument has become void.

Global consumer research agency Finley has found that across the board, consumers find these new deceptive veggies odd, but nice. What’s not to like, if you get the nutrients and calorific value of kale, but the full taste of a juicy papaya? So far, natural flavours of fruits and vegetables can be synthetically infused with a very high success rate, but the chocolate pumpkin and cheddar mushrooms still need some work…okay, maybe a lot of work.

The UN has estimated that such flavour ‘substitution’ processes could lead to a food waste reduction of 28%, as people would eat what there is to buy – and like it! On top of that, 3 billion tons of CO2 could be saved per year, if the resource-heavy, grapefruit-equivalent processes were replaced.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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