John Docker: Looking to the future when cooking will be a thing of the past

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Don’t tell anyone but I’m letting you into a secret. For years I have horrified friends and relatives – including my ever-loving missus, by propounding the idea that eating is a complete and utter waste of time and it would be far better to meet our daily dietary needs by consuming pills. I know - there’s no need to tell me, I’m an ill-informed, ignoramus. How could I possibly demean the gastronomic joys of eating? TV chefs and gorging gourmets of the world will be shaking in their shish kebabs at the prospect!

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my food but just think about it. Every year you have to spend thousands of pounds and countless hours in the supermarkets – fighting your way through the trolley traumas, like a fairground bumper car circuit, reaching into the back of refrigerators to find the latest sell-by dates, prodding the fruit to see if it’s ripe, sniffing the cheese to make sure its not too ripe, hunting for genuine bargains and Bogof’s, then queuing to pay for the privilege of participating in this exhausting, time-consuming pastime, finally carting it all home.

Next it has to be stored away in cupboards, refrigerators or freezers, which take up most of the kitchen, then of course you have to get it all out again to prepare a meal. Now I know many people not only love eating but cooking as well. Fair enough, it doesn’t appeal to me but then I’m useless in the kitchen, so I wouldn’t know. But it doesn’t end there does it? All those dirty dishes and pots and pans have to be cleaned and put back in the cupboards again. Then – dishwashers not withstanding, a few hours and a good snooze later you have to go through the whole process again!

Now then, think of the alternative. No need for a kitchen, you open a small cabinet and select beautifully aromatic and flavoured tablets from compartments labelled roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, apple pie and custard etc. and there you have it - Sunday lunch with no mess, no messing about and no arguments about who’s doing the washing up. Simple. And it’s no good you scoffing and shaking your head in horror. I haven’t lost my marbles, it’s coming I tell you. Haven’t you heard about these 3D printers that can now print food – just like the replicaters in Star Trek?

And it won’t stop there. Mark my words it’s just the first step. Our grandchildren’s descendants won’t be wasting time trolling along to the shops or playing games on their X box thingamajigs. Who knows when but come the day they’ll be far too busy to bother making food on their 3D printing machines, they’ll be making their own shoes, domestic appliances, new teeth, spare body parts the lot. Feeling peckish? Just pop some pepperoni pills.

Having left you with this thought I must go, supper’s ready. Mmmm, smells delicious!