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Hold the Sugar: An Interview with Food Scientist Beverly Tepper on Genetics, Taste, and Bitter-Blockers

The director of Rutgers University's Sensory Evaluation Lab on bitter blockers, nanotechnology, and where food science has gone wrong in the past.



"Food design" can mean very different things, depending on whom you ask. Over the past couple of weeks, we've heard from a design critic, a corporate giant, a Jell-O entrpreneur, and a pair of design provocateurs about the possibilities and pitfalls of redesigning our food—and between them the conversation has ranged from the impossibility of inventing new pasta shapes to the need to rethink agricultural subsidies, and from DIY digestive system hacks to flavor-changing chewing gum.

The food scientist Beverly Tepper is director of the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory at Rutgers University. Her research combines nutritional science and psychology with the genetics of taste perception in order to better understand the links between flavor, diet, and health. We talked about some of the innovations she thinks will reshape our food in the coming years, where food scientists have gone wrong in the past, and what she thinks of molecular gastronomy.

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Adventures in Food Design: An Interview with Sam Bompas, Jellymonger

In which Bompas talks to GOOD about playing with food, being a jelly entrepreneur, and a gigantic cake for Will & Kate's royal wedding.


No offense to GOOD, but if I could work anywhere else in the world, it would probably be at Sam Bompas and Harry Parr's south London jelly factory*. [*NOTE: Jelly is known as Jell-O in the U.S.]

Sam and Harry launched their own company, Bompas & Parr, in 2007, with an architectural jelly banquet that included a wobbly Millennium Bridge designed by Norman Foster and ended in a food fight, during which someone hurled a jelly St. Paul's Cathedral out of the window.

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Future Foragers: Dunne & Raby Redesign Human Digestion to Redefine "Food"

British duo Dunne & Raby explain how they use design to start a conversation about the future of food.

[vimeo][/vimeo]

Last week, I asked a question: What kinds of different futures could we create by redesigning food, and how should we direct food design research to make sure that we end up with the version of the future we actually want? Many people responded: some with suggestions, some with criticisms, and others with questions of their own, and although the original forum is now closed, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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