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AshlynM's avatar

Should food come in pill form?

Asked by AshlynM (6157 points ) October 21st, 2012

For example: A pill that taste like spaghetii or pizza or ice cream, salad, cereal, hot dogs, apples, oranges and so on.

Or how about that food machine from Star Trek, where you tell it want you want and it magically appears.
Or even like in that pizza scene in Back to The Future where it started out as a tiny pizza but it turned out normal sized?
With the technology today, would this even be possible?

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22 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

No. What tells your body that you have eaten enough and removes that grumbling in your belly is the physical amount that you ingest, regardless of how nutritious it is.
A pill would not give you that, and you would still feel hungry, even if you get all the nutrients.

hearkat's avatar

The tactile nature of eating food is a part of the pleasure. I wouldn’t want it in pill form.

A food replicator like on Star Trek would be awesome, but I can’t imagine a technology could create something out of nothing and have it be identical to the original food.

ragingloli's avatar

@hearkat
A replicator does not create anything out of nothing.
It is based on federation transporter technology, and disassembles raw matter on a subatomic level and reassembles it based on patterns stored in the computer’s memory.

wundayatta's avatar

Perhaps it should. It might health folks lose weight, since no one will want to eat pills. On the other hand, it would be pointless, since people would quickly find ways to acquire real food.

hearkat's avatar

@ragingloli: I never delved that deeply into the fictional science behind technology on Trek or any other sci-fi stories. I figured it was similar to a transporter, but if I ask the replicator for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, where is it getting the carrots and cream from?

ragingloli's avatar

@hearkat
It does not need carrots and cream. It can use raw matter, like stored hydrogen, water, waste, what have you, disassembles it into protons, electrons and neutrons and then reassembles it according to stored patterns.

hearkat's avatar

@ragingloli: That’s what I imagined, and that’s what I meant by “from nothing”.

I understand that it should be possible from a chemistry perspective; but I highly doubt that it could ever truly match the real food in nutritional value or in texture and smell/taste… just as our current attempts to process food products and synthesize nutrients fall far short of what nature provides.

Perhaps in the 25th century – or whenever Trek was foreseen – it will have been perfected; but in my lifetime, I’ll stick with what I buy from our local farms.

Coloma's avatar

Hell no!
Food is a sensory delight, prepping, the look, the smell, the taste, the texture, and CHEWING!

chyna's avatar

^And the good company that shares the meal with you on occasion.

Symbeline's avatar

@ragingloli…from waste? O_o

ragingloli's avatar

@Symbeline
Yes. Your poop will eventually end up back on your plate.

Symbeline's avatar

Star Trek is way cooler than I had imagined.

Symbeline's avatar

Even though you edited your answer, my last post still stands. if not more than before

Crumpet's avatar

Eating is enjoyable though! It would almost be as bad as saying “shall we all reproduce by artificial insemination”

wundayatta's avatar

Hmmm. @Crumpet So you can have all the fun you want if you are infertile, and still use assisted reproduction to get pregnant, but only when you want to.

I wonder if there’s an equivalent in food. Like we could eat all the fat and sugar we want and it’ll pass right through, doing nothing, and we take nutrition and sustenance in pills?

rojo's avatar

These are pretty much the same answers we gave a ranger friend of ours when she wondered why we don’t have “people chow”.

That being said, it would be nice to have it available from time to time when you don’t have time.

gailcalled's avatar

@rojo: When you don’t have time:

Cereal and a sliced banana
Toast with peanut, almond or cashew butter
Sliced apple with some cheddar cheese.

rojo's avatar

@gailcalled This morning; ancient grain granola, yogurt and banana all together in a bowl. Not quite people chow but probably much better tasting than I imagine the latter would be.

gailcalled's avatar

@rojo: I eat the ancient grain cereal all the time partly because it comes in a simple packaging.And I find that ½ banana daily helps prevent leg cramps. Plus it tastes good, as you have noticed.

For easy extras, I throw on some chopped walnuts or almonds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 2 T. ground flax seed. These are ingredients that I stock at staples.

Another easy snack is celery stuffed with peanut butter.

rojo's avatar

@gailcalled ooooooh, don’t do celery. According to my tastebuds, it is a member of the plywood family.

But peanut butter is a staple. As in whole wheat bread, butter, peanut butter and lemon curd. Probably bad for you in quantity but tastes sooo good!

Mariah's avatar

@ragingloli Regarding your first statement, that is not true. People on IV nutrition do not get hungry, for example.

Regarding the original question, that would be amazing, were it possible, for treating digestive diseases, and for anything that might require the use of IV nutrition (which comes with major risks).

ragingloli's avatar

@Mariah
Aw crud, and it sounded so good, too!

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