Five entries down and this is the first one I did not compose on my phone. Kind of crazy. We suddenly live in a time where I can turn my 30-minute commute in to a hobby. It’s like e-knitting. Everything has changed. The fact that I’ve had to restrain myself from using smilies so far in my posts is really a testament to how much language convention has changed even in the ten or twelve years since I was in middle school... Oh, you’re hungry? And you came here to hear me make your mouth water, not listen to my personal perspective on the information revolution? Well, I’ll oblige. [Smiley omitted by Ed.]

Maybe I can make this work for both of us (and this mysterious Ed guy).

Think about how our eating has even changed over the last ten years. Cookbooks have turned into online recipe databases. Those old recipe chain letters are now food blogs, where recipes are shared and vetted. Cooking classes have been replaced by the Food Network’s dominance over everything culinary on TV as well as on the Internet. Deciding on a restaurant now needs no word of mouth or newspaper review, when all of this can be found in reviews online and menus on the restaurants' own websites. Calling for dinner reservations is now even somewhat obsolete. I can even order food for delivery or grocery shop, pay for it and leave a tip all on the Internet through unbelievably nice websites! It seems inevitable that Willy Wonka’s classic idea will eventually come to life and I’ll be able to type in www.tunarolls.food or www.lemonchiffoncake.dess and the food will download right on to my computer at the speed of my Internet connection. “Excuse me sir, but I think I got a little bit of fiber optics in my pastrami sandwich, could you re-send that immediately?”

All fancying aside, shouldn’t all these tools and information about food make us smarter eaters? I should never make a bad restaurant choice, let alone not know what to order already once I get there. I should know the nutritional contents already, the price and 100 other people who have tried it and what they liked about it. I should be able to find a recipe that has a 99% approval rating and then see a step-by-step video for how to make it from Giada De Laurentis.

But there is a human element to eating, a sensual pleasure we get from eating something we could never make at home, or the relaxed delight provided to us by being served a terrific meal. The way we eat is certainly evolving, and maybe we’ll find ourselves in one of the idealized worlds I painted above due to the magic of the internet and brilliant entrepreneurs, but I don’t think this would be quite a utopia.

I just read yesterday about an exercise pill that works on mice that decreases body fat, while increasing muscle mass and endurance. Shouldn’t we be geeked that soon we might never have to care about exercise, whole grains or trans fats ever again? Actually it makes ME a bit queasy. Kind of Brave New World queasy. And that bit of science fiction is real – a real pill that scientists are working on. My point here is not that this pill has to do with the Internet so much, but just to show how entwined food is in our lives, our joys and our health. Wouldn’t we be a more boring people if we never had to think about what we eat and how we eat it? Which is why I will never be recycling my cook books or ever stop obsessing over fiber content or ever control my fascination about hearing what my friends think about cool, new restaurants they've tried. And I will only use my contribution to the Internet food discussion to think even more than I have to about the food in my life. And hopefully you will too – with your friends, with your family, with your coworkers, with people online. That way we’ll use the Internet to deepen food philosophy rather than strip it.

Now please allow me to go. I need to go purchase the www.tunarolls.food domain name! [Winking Smiley omitted by Ed.]

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