Driverless Cars and Eating Dogs: Predictions for Year 2000 from 1980

What do you imagine will be the biggest challenges that the world will face in 20 years? Energy or food scarcity? Overpopulation? What about our biggest triumphs? Cures for cancer and extended lifespans? Smarter humans? Well, these would all sound similar to the people of 1980 when they looked 20 years into the future… » 11/06/14 1:56pm 11/06/14 1:56pm

Food of the Future: Just Freeze-Dry It All!

If I had to name one food that defined my childhood it would have to be astronaut ice cream. I can still remember getting it from the gift shop at the Minnesota Science Museum in the late 1980s and thinking that it was absolutely the coolest thing in the world. Look Mom, I'm eating just like an astronaut! » 7/30/14 3:36pm 7/30/14 3:36pm

This 1930s Family Is High On Laughing Gas Pie

Humans love to get high. So much so that people were recreationally using nitrous oxide (commonly called "laughing gas") for nearly a century before it was used as an anaesthetic. So when chemists in the 1930s started proposing the use of nitrous oxide in consumer products like whipped cream canisters, some people… » 7/24/13 5:27pm 7/24/13 5:27pm

“Umami” Was Coined by the Inventor of MSG to Describe Its Taste

In 1908, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda isolated and patented monosodium glutamate, more commonly known to English-speakers of the 21st century as the often-maligned MSG. Ikeda thought that his discovery was so special that the taste deserved to be described with a brand new word, a word that a century later has… » 7/08/13 5:52pm 7/08/13 5:52pm

The Restaurant of the Future Was Going to Revolve You

Today's restaurants love automation. Whether it's conveyor belt sushi, iPad ordering or drones that bring your food right to the table, restaurant owners are always looking for a gimmick that attracts customers and might just save them some money. But back in the 1920s, an inventor in Michigan had his own idea for… » 6/24/13 2:42pm 6/24/13 2:42pm

How Yesterday's Feminists Invented the Food of the Future

These days, foodie messiahs like Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan preach the gospel of whole foods and get quite a lot of ink and airtime for their ideas about a more healthy way of eating. But the most progressive idea in food from a hundred years ago would likely shock the slow fooders of today: the meal pill. » 5/30/13 1:55pm 5/30/13 1:55pm