Cooking shows have become enormously popular in our modern era, thanks, in part, to our addiction to “live” reality shows and, in full, to our citizens’ overall giant intake of expensive and often wasteful foodstuffs. It is now not odd to find several channels’ worth of television shows dedicated to sustenance running simultaneously, and this is omitting the entire television networks dedicated to the reliance. We are lucky to be able to call this level of capitalist consumer magic “healthy competition,” as is also the justification of any given USA boulevard’s corner of four “different” burger restaurants and two “different” fried chicken joints.
Contention is a good thing due to our freedom of choice; dining businesses flourish when we are indecisive or flighty or fat when it comes to hunger. This is where we are: fast-moving devourers, hush puppies of consumption, snackers/grazers/nibblers. When we see food, we buy food.
And we love us some TV.
My one-year-old is an enthusiastic member of our society, thus, an agreeable baby foodie and conclusive reflection of community meal habits.
At her age, the bulk of her banquet behavior is not yet civilized since she can only mentally focus on trying to get food in her mouth. This usually looks like spaghetti sauce across her face and in her lap; grains of rice trapped in her curls; half-bitten quarters of grapes on the floor under her high chair. She grins and claps and throws up her hands through entrees, slinging those smothered/encrusted/mossy hands of hers.
Jai’s messiness is seemingly willful and wily. In the way that a puppy hides or buries samples to eat later, if one of the parents doesn’t immediately pick up the niblets of former meals from her eating corner, Jai cleans them up herself—with a demonstrated, determined sweeping motion at all of the bigger and all of the tiniest crumbs. She’s a human vacuum.
It makes us crazy because not all that she sucks up in her pipes is, of course, for safe human consumption, particularly if they do not pass the toilet-paper tube test. On many days, we have excavated odd tidbits from her mouth, sometimes followed by my yelling at Jrue for enabling the item to her experimental baby paws.
She has chewed on a safety pin and a googly eye from an art page. I have seen earring back pieces, dried leaves, singular staples, and ink pen tops descend from her mouth in waterfalls of saliva (and a subsequent yelp of disapproval from her). A shirt or a comforter or mommy’s hoodie strings can be stuffed in the mouth and moistened. All of Jrue’s toys are in danger daily…why else does a toy motorcycle exist but to be chewed on? We have pulled out so much paper product from her trap that I think her genes are infused with goat.
Like a browsing animal, her curiosity and oral gratification desire gives mommy and daddy issues with bad nerves. Jai is always…chewing.
Our idea about a part of her life purpose is that she may be destined for a career as a television chef.
Or, perhaps, the operator behind a robo-chef since we’re talking about 17 or so years from now. Or as a robo-chef’s sous chef. Whatever works.
A 2015 article from The Guardian reveals that the potential future of cooking and cooking shows is in its beginning stages. Regarding the invention of a robo-chef, Moley Robotics creator Mark Oleynik explains, “With the tap of an app, the evening meal can be chosen and the timing set, allowing the robotic kitchen to have dinner on the go by the time you get home. The commercial version is set to debut in 2018 for around $75,000 (£49,000), featuring an expanded repertoire of meals that owners can add to. . .and a greater range of functions—at the moment human chefs need to prepare the ingredients, putting them in just the right place for the mechanical hands to grab.” (Davis, Burgen, and Corbyn, 2015)
In addition to robots, “IBM’s big-brained computer, Watson, is being harnessed by chefs to churn out new recipes, while San Francisco company Momentum Machines have created a robot capable of making burgers, cooking them and preparing toppings before popping the final product in a bag.” (Davis, Burgen, and Corbyn, 2015)
The article also throws into the otherworldly mix the development of 3D-printed food and artificially intelligent ovens. With this level of technology in the works, imagine what a cooking show of the future may entail. It looks like my daughter may have not only food prep courses in her culinary education, but also lots of computer science and technology classes.
Her television show could involve using every single morsel so that none is trashed…”cooking the scraps.” She’ll be meticulous and charming with her robot chef, constructing delicious, quick meals for families and single persons on the run. I’d be in the studio audience, so proud, remembering her early days. It’s so delightful to think about.
That is, if we can stop her from eating off the floor.
Davis, Nicola, Burgen, Stephen, and Corbyn, Zoe. “Future of Food: How We Cook.” The Guardian, Sep. 13, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/13/future-of-food-how-we-cook. Accessed Apr. 25, 2017.