Interactive Food
Eir reverie was broken by the arrival of MKine's food. A plate of seemingly living rodents that scampered as if frightened of what was about to happen. In reality their fear was an illusion, generated by the biotech computronium they possessed in place of a nervous system. A compromising policy generated by a Quorum at some distant point in the past between advocates of non-sophont cruelty regulation and vivi-carnivorous clades. Ibrama emself had little stomach for watching such sophonts eat but thankfully the cowl that encircled MKine's head hid the sight, and the sound. A niggling pressure in his exoself drew Ibrama's attention back to the policy agreement. Eir mind/knowledge integration modules were repeatedly arriving at dead ends with every attempt to weave the policy into eir mental concept map. Ibrama sighed, it was a long shot anyway attempting to use the most effortless means to understand such a complex issue. Whilst the exoself modules could be relied upon to subconsciously impart all manner of knowledge and skills the policy was too far outside his typical cognitive faculties.


Interactive food is composed of smart materials or nanotech components enabling complex behavior patterns, texture shifts and taste modulation. The earliest instances were novelty candy in the 260s (Rinckler's ZmartGum) and engineered space food, but the cost remained prohibitive. Interactive food became more common in the 5th century, but the real renaissance came during the first federation. Despite (or possibly because) the strong limitations of nanotech use interactive food became the defining cuisine of the Sol System in the 12th and 13th century. The IFPC (Interactive Food Programming Catalogue) of 1248 is regarded as the defining document of classical interactive food across civilized space.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 10 November 2001.

Story quote added october 2019
Additional Information
Fiction Featuring Interactive food

by Ryan B