Demystifying Food Tech one Bite of Cacao-Free Chocolate at a Time
Food technology, when you stop to think about it, seems to be quite the oxymoron. (Maybe even more so than jumbo shrimp.) Food, something so deeply tied to human culture and tradition, is almost inarguably antithetical to technology as we often perceive it. And when we put those ideas together, it conjures up images of scientists bent over a lab bench, combining complex foreign substances to concoct foreign “foods” that can excite, confuse, and even scare us. But who said it has to be that way?
It’s true, food is a deeply-ingrained part of our lives. But so is technology. And as most of us know, technology can be incredibly beneficial –– even when it comes to what we eat. No, we’re not talking about the next cell-cultured meat. We’re talking about real, whole foods made from ingredients we all know, simply crafted in new ways that are better for people and the planet. So let’s dig in to the world of food technology and our unique approach at Voyage.
Problems With the “Food Tech” Label
Over the past few decades, food tech has earned quite the reputation for itself. Favored by some, feared by others, the notion of using cutting-edge technology and innovation to develop food and drink can be –– and often is –– a polarizing concept. And when we see headlines like this one below (👇), it’s not too hard to see how many of us aren’t always too keen on fully embracing food tech as we know it.
But as we see it, a lot seems to get lost in translation. The majority of food tech companies, products, and innovations that exist in today’s world are aimed at creating more sustainably-minded food at scale. And we’re pretty certain that most –– if not all –– of us are all for foods that are better for people and our planet. However, for many of the innovations that currently exist, the benefits to human and planetary health aren’t always as clear as they set out to be.
So, when a good portion of consumers don’t –– or even can’t in some cases –– understand how these foods are created and what role technology played in their development, they’re understandably much less likely to adopt them into their eating habits –– or even try them in the first place. As this perception around the role of technology in creating food has and will continue to perpetuate, it becomes difficult for companies like ours who are using technology not to reinvent the wheel, but bring forward new versions of old favorites, versions that can and will live long into the future.
Where Food Tech Meets Food Tradition
At it’s core, we believe food tech isn’t something to be afraid of. The use of innovative tools and practices to create food that causes less harm (in whatever form that may be) is a good thing, pure and simple. And for us, using that technology is not a means to remove the emotional connection we have with what we eat –– it’s actually to bring us closer.
Because like it or not, the foods we know and love aren’t likely to stick around forever if we continue to produce them in the ways we currently do. Chocolate and coffee industries face an array of problems from deforestation to troubled supply chains. And allergen-containing products –– like the beloved peanut butter –– just aren’t safe in public environments. So, we craft replacements to these staple foods, versions that harness our innovative technology to bring the taste, texture, and experience you know and love from the originals.
And for us, using that technology is not a means to remove the emotional connection we have with what we eat — it’s actually to bring us closer.
Another myth we’re busting? That with food technology must come foreign inputs, long ingredient lists, and a myriad of chemicals and additives. We produce real food using real ingredients –– from sunflower seeds to chickpeas. Our products may utilize new, innovative technology to craft them, they’re not foreign or unfamiliar in the slightest.
So if you ever get stressed thinking about all the complex food tech that’s out there, just grab a spoonful of our Peanut-Free Spread or a square of our Cacao-Free Chocolate –– it’ll help.