News & Discovery About Web Technologies

24 Ways The Internet Is Influencing Our Relationship With Food

The new web of things is slowly changing every aspect of society, including the way we cook, eat and share food with others.

Smartphones and wifi are making possible a new wave of smart kitchen devices, from sensors that know when the stove has been left on to forks that remind us to slow down and eat mindfully.

In the following sections, we look at 24 different ways the new web of things is impacting our relationship with food.

1. Mukbangs

The internet gave birth They are eating shows in which hosts eat very large quantities of food while interacting with their audience. The trend first became very popular in South Korea in 2010, before being heavily spread on YouTube. Viewers who watch those kinds of shows often enjoy the loud eating sounds that hosts are sometimes requested to make with their mouth.


2. 3D Printed Food

Barcelona-based startup Natural Machines created the Foodini. A 3D printer for food that works exactly like regular 3D printers. However, instead of printing with plastics, it deploys edible ingredients squeezed out of stainless steel capsules.


3. Smart Precision Cooking

Precision cooking, also known as sous-vide, is a cooking technique that utilizes precise temperature control to deliver restaurant-quality results. The first machine was launched in 2009 by Eades Appliance Technology. Today the leader in the industry is Anova precision cooker. It is a smart sous-vide machine that can be paired with a mobile device to cook delicious recipes.


4. Smart Ovens

LG is a giant when it comes to home electronics and appliances. With LG SmartThinQ, users can pair their mobile devices with any of the appliances that are embedded that technology and remotely control them.


5. Food Photography

Photographing our food and sharing the photos online has grown in popularity with the rise of social media. It is an internet-born trend that taps into the desire of people to document their lives and share with friends and strangers.


6. Online Grocery Ordering

The new web of things now allows people to purchase their grocery online and receive their order the same day. It is a trend that is most likely to evolve in popularity due to the ever-increasing number of smart appliances that keep track of food list.


7. Food Awareness

Several companies use the internet to raise awareness. A very well known organization that strives through their ever-growing online community is PETA or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. With over a million followers on Twitter, they are a leading voice for the food awareness movement.


8. Internet Refrigerators

Smart refrigerators, also known as internet refrigerators, are programmed to sense what kind of products are being stored inside them and keep a track record of the stock through product barcode and scanning. Paired with a mobile device, they can alarm you when the fridge is running low on food and make autonomous online grocery orders.


9. Meat-Free Meat

Inspired by food awareness movements, California-based company, Impossible Foods Inc, created the impossible burger. A meat-free burger said to replicate the taste, texture, and smell of a meat burger. The impossible burger blew up on the internet in July 2016.


10. Smart Water Pitcher

Brita, a German company, founded in 1966, is the leading expert in water filters. Just about a few years ago, they've launched the Brita Infinity smart pitcher. Equipped with Wi-Fi, the product keeps track of how much water passes through the filter. Once the filter is about spent, it'll go ahead and automatically order a replacement from Amazon that'll arrive at your doorstep just when you need it.


11. Two-class Food System

Different food and diet choices have always been around. However, with the growth of the web of things allowing people to express themselves, food choices turned into divided online communities on social media, creating a two-class food system. On one side of the spectrum are the carnivores, and on the other extreme opposite, the herbivores. Other communities fall somewhere in between the two. Unless there are big changes within the next 20 years, that gap and division are most likely to become larger.


12. Smart Forks

Hong Kong-based company, Hapi Labs Ltd, created the HAPIfork, the first smart fork. Paired with your mobile device, the electronic fork helps you monitor and track your eating habits. It also alerts you with the help of indicator lights and gentle vibrations when you are eating too fast.


13. Online Recipes

Online recipes websites have changed the way we cook. In fact, with the new web of things, everyone with network access can be a Chef. A study, entitled Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture, states that over 50% of internet users rely on online recipes to cook and eat.


14. Smart Prep Pad

California-based company, Orange Chef, launched the smart prep pad few year ago. It is a wifi connected kitchen scale that gives you real-time insight into your food and helps you personalize goals, visualize your nutrition, and easily adjust ingredients to reach your meal objectives when paired together with a mobile device.


15. Vertical Agriculture

Vertical agriculture is a farming technique that stack layers of food and medicine vertically instead of horizontally. Also known as controlled-environment agriculture, all the farming is done indoors. This method is said to be much healthier for the food that is being grown. Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, predicts that the 2020's will be the vertical agriculture revolution.


16. Smart Ph Testing

Italy-based manufacturer, Hanna Instruments, launched the wireless ph meter a couple years ago. This smart instrument takes laboratory grade pH and temperature measurements using your smartphone or tablet.


17. Smart Frying Pans

The world first smart frying pan, Pantelligent, created by Humberto Evans in August 2015, when paired together with your mobile device, talks you through each step of a recipe and will advise you when to turn the heat up or down. If you do not wish to bother at all, the Autopilot feature to most of the work for you.


18. Conscious Eating Movements

Intuitive eating or also known as conscious eating is an old movement first spoke by Aristotle. The movement became highly popular among online spiritual communities as it was highly propagated on the new web of things. It is intended to create a healthy relationship with food, mind-body, making it a popular treatment for disordered eating and eating disorders.


19. Digital Kitchen Tables

In collaboration with IKEA, Concept Kitchen 2025 will bring the world first smart kitchen hub. The table will be embedded with a camera-equipped projector that both shows recipes on its surface and recognizes ingredients, giving you an idea of what to make with what you have. There will be an induction cooktop hidden in the table, so you wouldn't have to run between counters to heat the stoves.


20. Smart Kitchen Trash

Inventor and Co-Founder Rob Griffin, will create the world first intelligent device for your garbage. It scans garbage to automatically create your grocery list, matches coupons to products, and optionally delivers items to your doorstep.


21. New Diets

There are 9 known popular diets propagated on the internet. The Atkins diet, the zone diet, the ketogenic diet, the vegetarian diet, the vegan diet, the weight watchers diet, the south beach diet, the raw food diet and the Mediterranean diet are all backed up by strong online communities sharing health tips and recipes. Over the few next years, we can expect more diets to emerge.


22. Hunger Awareness

The internet now provides an easy way for non-profit organizations to collect donations and keep their communities updated on their activities. According to Charitable Giving Statistics, overall revenue from online fundraising grew by 14% in 2016 and 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action.


23. Digital Kitchen Assistants

Digital kitchen assistants help you find recipes simply by taking a picture of the grocery receipt. Paired with Amazon Echo, Chefling can extract every ingredient out of a grocery receipt, put them in the right category, and bring up recipes you can make based on these ingredients.


24. Citizen Cooking Shows

The new web of things has given birth to many different types of citizen broadcasts on YouTube. From regular daily vlogs to highly entertaining gaming channels, citizen cooking shows are quite popular. In fact, the tutorial types of channels are among the most watched videos online. The estimated monthly revenue is around $1.1K - $17.4K and they attract millions of views per month.



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