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Engineering Food at the Molecular Level 297

Posted by Zonk
from the nano-food-mmm dept.
Krishna Dagli writes to mention a New York Times article about the possibility of manipulating food at a molecular level. Though some of the initial suggestions are a little pointless (lower-fat ice cream, harder-to-melt M&Ms), weighter goals could eventually be achieved here as well. From the article: "Given the uncertainty about the risks of consuming new nano products, many analysts expect near-term investment to focus on novel food processing and packaging technology. That is the niche targeted by Sunny Oh, whose start-up company, OilFresh, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is marketing a novel device to keep frying oil fresh. OilFresh grinds zeolite, a mineral, into tiny beads averaging 20 nanometers across and coats them with an undisclosed material. Packed into a shelf inside the fryer, the beads interfere with chemical processes that break down the oil or form hydrocarbon clusters, Mr. Oh says. As a result, restaurants can use oil longer and transfer heat to food at lower temperatures, although they still need traditional filters to remove food waste from the oil. Mr. Oh said OilFresh will move beyond restaurants into food processing by the end of the month, when it delivers a 1,000-ton version of the device to a 'midsized potato chip company' that he said did not want to be identified. "
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Engineering Food at the Molecular Level

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  • real food lover here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jacquesm (154384) <j&ww,com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:42AM (#16378601) Homepage
    I'll take my food from the field any day over from the factory, thank you very much.

    I'm all for engineering but when it comes to what I eat I'm very oldfashioned. No reconstituted, GM, reprocessed anything.

    • by Tweekster (949766)
      Why?

      everything else improves. why cant we improve on food.

      Why exactly is food contrary to everything else, natural is the least efficient.
      • by jacquesm (154384) <j&ww,com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:50AM (#16378767) Homepage
        because the long term effects of synthetic food are not clear and because the companies promoting the stuff are - how to say this diplomatically - less than forthcoming with the downsides, side effects and seem not to understand the meaning of the word 'disclosure'.

        I'm all for progress, but food is delicate, mistakes have often serious and sometimes fatal effects. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see that in todays environment a short term financial gain for a corporation will outweigh a long term health risk. Until that trend reverses I'm all for caution.

        • by inviolet (797804) <slashdotNO@SPAMideasmatter.org> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:57AM (#16378903) Journal
          I'm all for progress, but food is delicate, mistakes have often serious and sometimes fatal effects.

          In what sense is food 'delicate'? Certainly an industrial product can be toxic, but food is not an exceptional case. In fact, we should expect our bodies to be more tolerant of food and water pollution than of other vectors. After all, you've got a million years of evolution behind you, ensuring that your gullet can tolerate the half-rotted carcass you found lying on the jungle floor.

          I'd bet that 99.99% of food-related fatalities over the past 30 years have been due to natural pathogens (or choking). Care for some organic spinach?

          • Those many years of evolution haven't prepared us for man-made chemicals which were only recently introduced. And you don't think we've evolved in the last few thousand years since we stopped eating rotted carcass from the jungle floor? Funny you bring up evolution but also think it stopped.
            • by inviolet (797804)

              Those many years of evolution haven't prepared us for man-made chemicals which were only recently introduced. And you don't think we've evolved in the last few thousand years since we stopped eating rotted carcass from the jungle floor?

              Some of the most poisonous compounds in the world are natural defensive chemicals that bugs and critters make. Botulinium toxin comes to mind. In any case, the body cannot tell the difference between a manmade versus a bacteriamade compound. Both can be toxic, both can ca

          • by demigod (20497)

            Care for some organic spinach?

            I would, do you know where I can get some?

            I ate up the spinach I had on had during the big scare, with out concern. Now, one still can not find spinach in the stores near where I live.

            Oh, buy the way, it turned out it wasn't organic spinach that had the problem, it was a major labels non-organic variety.

            Now we seem to have a lettuce scare going. Dang, can a demigod get some greens.

          • by drsquare (530038) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:12PM (#16379179)
            After all, you've got a million years of evolution behind you


            Evolution has not equipped man to deal with genetic modification, chemicals, or preservatives.
            • I don't know if you were trying to be funny or not, but this cracked me up.

              "Evolution has not equipped man to deal with genetic modification"

              Ummm, YES IT HAS!!
            • by Bandman (86149)
              in one sense, evolution IS genetic modification.

              and if you mean it hasn't equipped us to deal with these artificial ingredients, then you really mean

              "evolution has not YET equipped man to deal with..."

              because if this stuff is added, it will happen, if given a long enough chance
            • by Vellmont (569020)

              Evolution has not equipped man to deal with genetic modification, chemicals, or preservatives.

              If you believe that genetically modified food, preservatives, and "chemicals" are harmfull, you shouldn't eat really any food produced today. All food produced on a farm has been genetically modified by humans, and has been since agriculture began. Salt has been used as a preservative for thousands of years. No one seems to be terribly concerened about it causing cancer though (though it does contribute to high
          • by servognome (738846) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:16PM (#16379231)
            In what sense is food 'delicate'? Certainly an industrial product can be toxic, but food is not an exceptional case. In fact, we should expect our bodies to be more tolerant of food and water pollution than of other vectors.

            Food poses a larger threat because we expect interact with it so closely. There are plenty of toxic chemicals around the house, but for the most part we don't expect to place them directly into our bodies.
             
             
            After all, you've got a million years of evolution behind you, ensuring that your gullet can tolerate the half-rotted carcass you found lying on the jungle floor.

            But none of those million years were we exposed to some of the chemicals/proteins/etc that are being geneticly engineered into foods. Although I think the outrage of some against bioengineered food is unjustified, there are definately risks that need to be thoroughly evaluated.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Psykosys (667390)
            And industrial production of food occurred for how many of those million years of evolution?
          • by WiFiBro (784621) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:46PM (#16379701)
            "I'd bet that 99.99% of food-related fatalities over the past 30 years have been due to natural pathogens (or choking). Care for some organic spinach?"

            Ok what will be bet on?
            Anyway a bet is pointless as it is not tested for GE.

            About the organic spinach: I'ld like you to be aware that this myth was deliberately spread by people who think they have something to fear from organic food.

            Earlier, Dennis Avery from the Hudson Institute carefully wrote misleading stories on E.coli and organic food, which was based on deliberately mispresented research.
            Even though it has been debunked (http://www.organicconsumers.org/Organic/ecolimyth s.cfm) he is still spreading the rumour because people tend to believe him.

            With the recent spinach problem biotechnology apolegetes (AgBio http://www.agbioworld.org/newsletter_wm/index.php? caseid=archive&newsid=2605 [agbioworld.org]) were very quick to spread the rumor that it was about organic spinach, which afaik is also a construction of them.
            I tried to politely suggest to them to also spread the news that it wasn't organic after all, which they simply ignored.

            Think independently.
      • by hcob$ (766699)
        Because....

        [charlton heston]
        Molecularly Engineered food is PEOPLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        ...
        *stretch arms* ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! */strech arms*
        ...
        *slump over* ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! */slump over*

        [/charlton heston]

        or, if you prefer

        [william shatner] Molec... ular Engineered food... *eyebrows* is PEOPLE! */eyebrows*
        ...
        *clench fist* *close up* *eyebrows* KAAHHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNN!!!!!!! */clench fist* */close up* */eyebrows*
        [/william shatner]
      • by drsquare (530038)
        everything else improves. why cant we improve on food.


        Except these 'improvements' only improve shelf-life and manufacturing costs, not quality. In fact this 'advanced' food is often of far lower quality than food made naturally, both in terms of taste and nutrition.

        Why exactly is food contrary to everything else, natural is the least efficient.


        Efficient doesn't taste good.
        • by be951 (772934)
          Except these 'improvements' only improve shelf-life and manufacturing costs, not quality.

          That would be your assumption --perhaps based on the example of the frying oil-- but there is no reason this type of technology can't be used to improve quality, nutrition, flavor, etc.... And given that "health foods" tend to sell for a premium price, you'll probably see attempts to offer improvements in those products using nanotechnology in some form.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lazerf4rt (969888)

        everything else improves. why cant we improve on food.

        Not everything else improves. Music CD technology came out and eventually killed dynamic range. Digital cable came out and we lost the ability to flip quickly through channels. Wide screen TV's came out and now everyone watches their favorite shows with all the actors' faces all stretched.

        In medicine, you can say we've made progress, but now we have doctors over-recommending surgery for basic conditions. And psychiatrists prescribing Paxil and SSRI's

        • by kimvette (919543)

          Not everything else improves. Music CD technology came out and eventually killed dynamic range

          Er, no, try again. On a GOOD turntable you might get 45dB of dynamic range and about 30-45dB of channel separation, on a GOOD vinyl pressing, with a GOOD receiver or preamp.

          With CD you get approximately 90dB of both. What you DON'T get with CD is an infinite number of intermediary volume levels, and frequency response has a hard lower limit of 20hz and a hard upper limit of 22,050hz, whereas vinyl can extend to wel

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)
          Yea but for example-- efficiently farm raised salmon basically have none of the nutritional value that we eat salmon for in the first place.

          Efficiency involves a lot of simplification and cutting out less important things like good omega 3 fatty oils and the real red color that comes from eating thousands of shellfish and replacing them with red dye.

          From here: http://money.aol.com/bw/general/canvas3/_a/whats-i n-my-food/20060808141909990001 [aol.com]

          The fresh, farm-raised salmon that shoppers buy also get their orang
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Maxo-Texas (864189)
        Well.
        Let's take tomatoes for an example.

        The fiber (basically cardboard) portion has been selected for to make a tomato that grows fast, is pest resistant, doesn't spoil, doesn't bruise, and basically has about 20% of the "good" stuff compared to a tomato that does spoil and bruise.

        So... improvement is great- the question is what did they "improve"?

        If they measured the nutrition provided by a natural tomato and scored these other tomatoes and provided a rating, then the growers would improve nutrition. Curr
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      You mean like the organic spinach?

      Organic != good. GM != bad.

      Even the food that you eat now "right from the field" have been engineered by man.
      The corn, rice, wheat, grapes, lettuce, and just about every other crop you eat is very different from the wild versions.
      So let's not just write of an entire technology that could help millions of people. Let's try to see that it is used responsibly.
      • by spun (1352)
        Food has been modified by breeding, not by engineering. There may be a difference. Maybe even a large, toxic difference. Without proper testing, we won't know until it's too late. So let's not just give a free pass to a technology that may kill millions. Let's try to see that it is used responsibly.
      • by WiFiBro (784621)

        About the organic spinach: I'ld like you to be aware that this myth was deliberately spread by people who think they have something to fear from organic food.

        Earlier, Dennis Avery from the Hudson Institute carefully wrote misleading stories on E.coli and organic food, which was based on deliberately mispresented research.
        Even though it has been debunked (http://www.organicconsumers.org/Organic/ecolimyth s.cfm) he is still spreading the rumour because people tend to believe him.

        With the recent spinach probl
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:22PM (#16379319)
      It's not like food has been statically unchanged over the last several thousand years, or even several hundred years. We've been using selective breeding techniques ever since we started agriculture. Do you think that chicken you're eating is like the original un-domesticated version that came from the wild? Is the corn, wheat, tomatoes, etc the same as it was 2000 years ago, or even 200 years ago?

      Rejecting GM, processed, or whatever food with broad strokes doesn't make any sense. We've been changing our food for a long long time, so you really shouldn't be eating anything that society (modern or non-modern) produces at all. If you want "purity before human intervention" you should go back to the hunter-gatherer society, just be carefull not to gather anything that's reproduced with human-interferred stuff.

      That's not to say that you shouldn't be concerned with food additives, GM foods, etc. It's just a matter of making sure it's all safe rather than rejecting it all out of hand.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        We've been using selective breeding techniques ever since we started agriculture.

        True, but there are some more recent changes. First, selective breeding has moved towards market attributes, like the ability to survive shipping and appear ideal, instead of taste ideal. Second, genetic tampering, additives, nano-scale materials, and the like have a lot less testing behind them to prove their safety.

        Is the corn, wheat, tomatoes, etc the same as it was 2000 years ago, or even 200 years ago?

        Nope, but neit

  • Call me when they can make cough syrup taste good. Then Ill be impressed.

    Oh, and M&M's are designed to melt at just above room temp. That way they "Melt in your mouth, not in your hands." There is no need for nano-tech to fix them.
    • Oh, and M&M's are designed to melt at just above room temp. That way they "Melt in your mouth, not in your hands." There is no need for nano-tech to fix them.

      IIRC (and no, I didnt RTFM so this might have been mentioned there), the high-temp M&Ms have been around since the first gulf war (the one H. W. Bush presided over), and were designed specifically so that they could be sent to the troops there without melting. At least, Im pretty sure I remember some new article or TV special report that menti

    • by jhines (82154)
      From what I heard, M&M's are protected by the excretions of the lac beetle, aka shellac. Same as what is in hair spray, and makes for a nice wood finish as well.
  • Sunny Ohs! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Orange Crush (934731) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:45AM (#16378663)
    Is it just me, or does "Sunny Oh" sound like it should be a brand name of fried snack food?
  • when interfering with natural food processes like this. Are you doing mankind a favour or creating a stream of cancer patients 20 years down the line.

    Artificial preservatives and flavourings were the bees knees apprently when they hit the shelves first until it turned out many were carcinogens or just really not what you body wanted to be accumulating. Now look at the consumer demand for organically grown and prepared food.
  • Why does this remind me of the group trying to geneticly alter pigs so bacon isn't bad for us anymore?
    • by nizo (81281) *
      Now this is research! It would be worth eating, even if the fake bacon (fakon?) took ten years off my life, uhh, kinda like eating too much real bacon.....
  • by UncleGizmo (462001) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:47AM (#16378711) Homepage
    about cooking items coated "with an undisclosed material"?

    I'll take my potato chips without undisclosed materials, thank you very much.

  • May cause Anal Leakage. WTF?
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:48AM (#16378733) Homepage Journal
    Essentially (yes, I did not RTFA) we are talking about injecting nano-particles into the frying oil to make it last longer?

    Even though some nano-materials could be highly dangerous [hazards.org] to human health [nanotec.org.uk]? In other words, we may end up with highly dangerous cancer-causing products used in kitchens? To fry greasy stuff that we know are bad for our health anyway? Talk about a double whammy: if your heart attack does not kill you, cancer from nano-particles will. And do you want fries with that?

    Then again, this is business as usual in the USA [commondreams.org], so I guess it will probably be used soon.
    • by asuffield (111848)

      Even though some nano-materials could be highly dangerous to human health?

      Just about everything you buy in the supermarket either includes or has been in contact with materials that are highly dangerous to human health. This would just be an insignificant new entry on a list that is already impressively long.

      Furthermore, we have historically never discovered that things were dangerous until they had already been used for extended periods of time. Based on this, we can conclude that there is a high probabili

    • They're not injecting it into the oil, they've coated a bunch of beads inside a shelf in the fryer with this stuff - much like the way that some plastics have nanoparticles inside them that create a surface area inhospitable to bacterial and microbial life, or vinyl siding that has nanoparticles in it that causes air-pollution buildups on the surface to be destroyed wen exposed to sunlight.

      The dangers of nano-particles in the bloodstream are not that they cause cancer, its that the particles could get p
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      Yes, it COULD be dangerous. Of course, a meteor COULD come crashing into your house killing you right now. It COULD turn out that laptop computers cause testical cancer.

      If reactionaries like yourself are going to try to ban these kinds of products because they COULD be dangerous, can I have you thrown in jail because you COULD be a terrorist? I don't know if you are a terrorist, but you could very well be, Better to let fear and paranoia rule the day, then make a rational decision about the risks of product
    • Just because something is described as "nanoparticle", it doesn't mean everything is created equal.

      E.g., if it then disolves in water instead of staying a particle, the whole thing about it originally being a nano-particle doesn't mean jack squat by the time it's dissolved mollecules in your bloodstream. You could eat something containing, say, sugar nano-particles and it wouldn't do any more harm than the same quantity of sugar in any other form.

      E.g., there are a ton of things already that do involve parti
  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:49AM (#16378751) Homepage
    Wouldn't it be better to grow food instead of engineer food? Moore's Law doesn't have to apply to everything.
    • Wouldn't it be better to grow food instead of engineer food?

      What do you think evolution has been doing all these years?

      There's nothing more natural than genetic engineering.

      Hey, I think I have their new slogan. :)

      • by WiFiBro (784621)
        "There's nothing more natural than genetic engineering."

        Define natural ?
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      Wouldn't it be better to grow food instead of engineer food?

      Umm... why?
  • "But troubling laboratory tests suggest some nanoscale particles may pose novel health risks by, for instance, slipping easily past barriers to the brain that keep larger particles out"

    Great, people will stop having clogged arteries from fat and cholesterol, but instead have arteries suddenly clogged from zeolite clusters, or problems from tiny zeolite particles parking themselves in brain tissue.

    We're going to have to look for food and restaurants that advertise:
    No MSG...
    No Zeolite...
    No OilFresh...
    No Ol
  • A 1,000 ton device for a midsized potato chip company?

    I wonder how many potato chips will that process per day? How much "undisclosed material" will they need to make that monster?
  • Does anyone remember Olean? The oil that is indigetable by humans but feels, tastes and fries like real oil. What happened to it? All I remember is it used to cause "anal leakage" or something gross.
    • by Buran (150348)
      I'm pretty sure it was replaced by Olestra -- similar idea. And it doesn't have negative effects for everyone -- and even then mostly if eaten in large quantities. That is why the package has a warning against eating too much of the food at the same time.

      There IS a reason to have warning labels on food packages, just like medicine, and it's hardly anyone's fault other than the "victim"'s if someone ignores the warnings and gets sick. These days though it's always of course going to be someone else's fault .
      • by mph (7675)
        I'm pretty sure it was replaced by Olestra -- similar idea.
        Olean is the brand name; Olestra is the generic name.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:52AM (#16378819)
    From what I can tell zeolite is an approved food additive. But does it become something that's been entirely untested once you grind it up into nano-particles, and then coat it with some other undisclosed substance (presumably another food safe additive)?

    Moon dust was a big problem huge problem for Apollo astronauts as it got past seals. I've heard that it's supposed to consist at least partially of nano-particles. The question is, do ordinary substances behave a lot differently when we grind them up into nano-particles?

    My guess it that the FDA rules don't mention particle size when specifying food additives, so something like this could fly under the radar until someone thinks that maybe nano food additives might be a little different.
    • From what I can tell zeolite is an approved food additive. But does it become something that's been entirely untested once you grind it up into nano-particles, and then coat it with some other undisclosed substance (presumably another food safe additive)?

      "Zeolite" [wikipedia.org] refers to a class of minerals, not a particular mineral. They are aluminosilicate molecular sieves, and they are naturally formed from volcanic ash (a.k.a. "nanorock"). If you've ever taken a chemistry class, you've probably seen these litt

      • by Vellmont (569020)

        Nothing too special, but enough to make everyone freak out about "dangerous nanoparticles."

        Maybe it's not, and maybe your guesses are correct. But the human body is notoriously complex. Maybe you're willing to eat some new form of a food additive that's never been tested or eaten before based on guesswork, but I'm not.

        No, the question is "Do zeolites have toxic effects when ground up very finely and consumed with french fries?"

        No, this zeolite thing is a minor battle. I'm referring to the big picture her
  • by IflyRC (956454) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @11:55AM (#16378869)
    This article made me think back to this...Store Wars [storewars.org]

  • Healthy veggies that taste better than chocolate cake.
  • How can anyone trust the FDA to actually have the consumers, and not the multi-billion dollar food conglomerates interests in mind?

    This is the same federal agency that has let the food industry poison us for decades through the use of trans-fats, which have been shown to cause obesity, cancer, and many more health problems. The only reason that they use trans-fats is that it increases the shelf life of foods, which saves the big food companies a few cents on refrigeration and storage costs.

    So the food indu
    • This is the same federal agency that has let the food industry poison us for decades

      Too dumb to read a food label? All the constituents are clearly labeled.

      So the food industry would rather save a few cents per package, and doesn't care about poisoning the average american citizen. The FDA has been complicit in this, and has let them get away with it for decades, only in the last couple years have they actually required food companies to even list the amount of trans-fats included in food items. This i
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      Um, actually the FDA encouraged the use of trans-fats, in order to protect us from the horrible greedy corporations who were poisoning us with trans-fat free butter and natural animal fats.
  • ...is screwed for awhile if this story makes the mainstream media. If we don't know which chip company is using it, we just have to avoid them all. It's a win-win for public health.
  • by way2trivial (601132) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:04PM (#16379025) Homepage Journal
    if we can assemble molecules to this degree now- howabout ice 9? the amazing substance that was never fully thought out enough by it's author.

    ice 9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-9 [wikipedia.org] among other interesting tidbits, should become a solid WITHOUT increasing in volume, this means for suspended animation- the cells don't burst.

    is there no way to stack water molecules, so they stack neatly and tightly?
    • if you can build food at the molecular level- you can build ICE at the molecular level- making my post NOT off topic......
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      The X-Ray machine at the dentist office uses radiation. In the fictional horror movie, Godzilla, radiation turned an ordinary lizard into a 50 story city destroying monster.

      Dental x-rays just haven't fully been thought out, not when fiction like Godzilla reminds us of the dangers of giant mutated creaters. A few cavities are a small price to pay in order to not have a giant lizard destroy Tokyo, don't you think?
  • some of the initial suggestions are a little pointless (lower-fat ice cream, harder-to-melt M&Ms)

    So healthier and cleaner (as in the food is not adversely affected by temperature extremes) food is pointless? What color is the sky on that planet you apparently live on? What are the coordinates, so we can point our telescopes your way and study your planet? Tell us about the life there -- we want to know how it evolved.
  • Ahem, IIRC *all* food gets manipulated at a molecular level.

    And putting zeolite into oil doesnt seem to have anything to do with the title, unless you know somewhere where oil is marketed as "food".

    And the article isnt clear, but what may be going on isnt chemical manipulation at all, but just simple mechanical filtering.

    Otherwise okay.

    • by dmatos (232892)
      After having her wisdom teeth out, my wife was restricted to soft foods only for a couple of days. She was starving until I convinced her that it wasn't disgusting to drink a shot of olive oil. There are regions in Italy where it is regularly consumed straight, and an ounce of fat is very good at satisfying hunger.
  • That means we will be eating nano-particles of zeolite coated with an "undisclosed" material in our food and excreting what we don't absorb into our bodies* into the environment.

    * and if it stops hydrocarbon reactions in oil, what is it going to do inside our bodies?
    • You're assuming that its going to enter our bodies. This stuff isn't just injected into the oil, its contained within a shelf inside the oil. The article is vague on whether or not any of this substance will be in the food, but don't go making accusations about potato chips becoming zeolite snacks until we have some proof.
  • Can you imagine it? You could make food that no one else can eat without being violently sick.

    That'd stop people from pinching my French Fries!
  • All of this work is trying to figure out how to either make vegetable oil last longer, or make hydrogenated vegetable oil less unhealthy. (No, I don't mean "more healthy".) For a little history [clovegarden.com]:

    Health advocates brought intense pressure against the fast food industry for its heavy use of beef fat, particularly for deep frying. Since beef fat is high in saturated fats the accepted knowledge implicated it in killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

    Responding to this pressure the fast food industry

  • Sounds scarily like the engineered food described in Good Omens [amazon.co.uk] by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in which the character Famine develops food with specially woven and capped protein chains (approx. sic) with no nutritional value that allows the consumer to eat as much as they want and still look good while at the same time dying of malnutrition.
  • Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.
  • If you could use frying oil for longer, it means you'd buy less overall. You could then take the excess of processed oils and use them for fuel. That's a win right there, particularly for agribusiness.
  • I predict that by 2025, the United States will have people who are so overweight, that the current obesity epidemic will look like an Ana convention of twig girls. Add to that the fact that the Segway having failed to really do much of anything will be moving into the realm of "mobility augmentation" and people who can no longer carry their weight on their own legs but still want to smash four buckets of KFC into their gobs will opt for having those useless appendages removed and replaced with the Segway 5
  • We currently have a pretty good understanding of a lot of the processes in the human body, but we have a very poor ability to understand the chain of events that happens when foreign and unnatural molecules are introduced into the body. I mean, we do for certain things. We know how a lot of drugs work and we know how a lot of other things work, but many of these things take many years to understand and even then, stuff slips by and we end up killing people because of unforseen chains of events that these mo
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      in a survey of food sold in london in the 18th century, they found, among other ingredients, semen in ice cream.
      I beleive other ingredients were lead, paint, hair, and human skin (probably flakes).

      Seriously, we have it better these days. In fact the whole thing with laws to state a minimum level of safety for human food came about because of some woman who found a mouse in her bottle of drink.

      If moleculer engineered food turns out to be cheap, then it's coming, there's not a great deal we can do about it ba
  • WTF is up with tinkering with our food supply? Since we've added all of this non-natural crap to our food supply, obesity rates have surged. High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans-Fats, MSG, "natural" & artificial flavorings, Olestra, etc. have just fattened us up and made us unhealthy. I recommend everyone read Fast Food Nation for insights into the foods that most of us eat. I hardly ever consume the processed products found in a common supermarket, but instead shop at Farmers' Market and Whole Foods.

    F
  • Very scary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:05PM (#16380957) Journal
    the beads interfere with chemical processes that break down the oil or form hydrocarbon clusters

    And what happens when you digest some of those beads? They prevent your liver from breaking down the oil?

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