I’m in the supermarket. It’s only half past eight in the morning so it’s not to busy, just the almost oblivious shopper grabbing a few basic essentials before work. The good thing about about this time of the morning I’d there are plenty of tills, the only down fall there is nobody at said tills. Over the tannoid comes a less than enthusiastic voice “all green card holders to check outs, would all green card holders go to check out if you can be arsed” at this point I have got myself to the self service check outs, adding to the demise of jobs and helping the machines win. OK so here I go prepare the bag, open, scan my points card, start scan, beep, into bag, beep, into bag, bong wait for assistance, with the light of the said till flashing yet nobody comes, still flashing and after some … I get the green light to continue, beep, into bag, beep into bag, bong, for the love of mighty, the awaiting queue await with the strain on there faces from there clutched baskets, wishing that they were also somewhere other than at a self service till. Now turn things around and other times it’s me that is standing in said queue, thinking, is this the future, will the time come when we wont have anyone on any checkouts, could we do away with any form of politeness that comes at the point of laying up our shopping on the convener belt, would we miss the loading of our bags for life as long as we can pack the bags quicker than the cashier can scan, though there are them rare gems that have the ability to stop scanning and lend a hand with the actual packing, not to be confused with the cashier that just slows down the scanning like it wouldn’t be noticed that they actually care less about there jobs than we thought and those trying to outwit the customer, do they give the impression that they don’t want to be there, perhaps some do. Can it be painful yes, can it be pleasant, some times, can it be a good bleather for some, maybe a catchup for the few and importantly we are greeted by human form who are trying to make a living, paying there bills and those who actually genially enjoy there job and work as hard as any one else trying to get by.
So when do we think these machines will takes over? Some McDonald’s restaurants already have a system where you can order your food with no human contact. On the science show recently the were piloting an idea of electric vans with a robot than could take your parcel to your door, drones could also be a possibility of means for delivery and there is Alexa, my dear friend Alexa which we received one Christmas and if I’m honest I didn’t really know what it could do and probably only little of her capabilities. A good source for music is what she is, any song I ask for she will play it. There are plenty of other options that she comes with but I’m not sure if she can be trusted. Seemingly they have the technology to listen to conversations and store that data to bombard you with adverts and other things but she is an older model to other similar devices.
One Christmas when we were kids, Duncan and I received a robot each which were identical, space age, battery operated, black in colour with red visors and they were amazing. They could walk on there own and as any kids with vivid imaginations on creating a real life form of pretend dimension, which seems real in our minds at that time, the both of us armed with our two space age acquaintances did what any other kid our age was good at and that was terrorising our little sister with them.
Even food has evolved with technology. Move over the old format of cook books and make way for a tablet that is specifically designed for cooking that can store thousands of recipes and hundreds of videos going even further is a cooker that allows you to search for recipes and to visualise them on the same counter or how about a hologram of your favourite chef to cook along with you, that uses laser technology that suggests recipes for the ingredients you put in your bowl. Ovens are also making us rethink how cook books are written with there smart technology the like of which you can cook a roasting joint, choose how you would like it rare, medium etc. The oven will tell you which shelf is best to cook it on and there is no need to even preheat the oven as it will calculate the time from the oven being cold and all this can be operated from your phone and with the ovens built in camera makes it easier for you to choose if your dish is instagramable and the choice of over 200 cooking methods gives plenty of choice. How about a smart refrigerator that has a touch screen that keeps track of all refrigeration, expiration, makes a shopping list its as things run out of with cameras on the inside you can see the inside of your fridge without opening the door. Now every one wants the freshest vegetables and herbs so what about a Nano garden in your kitchen where you can pluck just before you add them to our food. A fairly new covert to the modern processional kitchen is the introduction of a 3D food printer which is reinventing culinary techniques in textures and design.
It is something to behold, the creation of a new dish. Now, I’m not talking about new flavour combinations or connections. If I eat something I want to know the story behind it, the beginnings of that original recipe, the person, the place, the moment in time, anything that opens up not just the dish, but the recipe and inspiration behind it. If we look at the great Georges Auguste Escoffier who is classed as one of the food Gods off all time who wrote the food bible Larousse Gastronomic, that offers the true basics and a realist of his time that has now allowed any cook to learn about a specific recipe, evolve as a cook and allow themselves to work from the basics, that is why It is important for me to attend my library of cookery books, food stories, food history, truths and myths as I am still yearning to learn. If we can take our minds back when we were in school and if we were taking a lesson or test and our text books went up in the form of a wall or your arm went over your answers so no one else could see, why? I suppose when we are that age we are only driven by what our little minds are concluding from the people around us. The old phrase of its not the winning that is important doesn’t ring true for me. If it’s the taking part then why even at that age do we take ourselves so seriously?Why is it when the teacher asked a question that we push our hands as far into the air as possible, raising our little bums of the seats so the teacher would pick one of us to answer the question, and obviously at times the answer was wrong,no matter how high we pushed our little arms, all that enthusiasm all that energy and you don’t get to even answer the question. The only saving grace that might have been is you would only conduct such moves is if you thought you knew in your heart of hearts the actual answer , but then again if you didn’t, a little huff was had and you would just try harder the next time. I think that perhaps we should rethink the curriculum and teach pupils, it is the winning that is important, but, the taking part is as important. What if we put our text books flat on the table and look at what we could produce, not just as individuals, not just as part of a team, but people that realise that what seems impossible, can actually be possible by helping each other evolve with knowing that there are exciting times ahead in the culinary future.