Yes, that’s right. Project Nourished wants you to eat whatever the hell you want—but only if you do it their way.
The Project Nourished experiment is really a full-sensory experience. You wear a VR headset that’s full of sensors, while using a special utensil that’s equipped with additional sensors.
By combining this with low-calorie “foods” that are derived from things like agar, konjac jelly, and gum arabic, as well as aromatic diffusions to bring your sense of smell on board, the project aims to make any and every food experience possible in the most painless , low-calorie way. If this works as Kokiri Labs intends, things like food allergies and dietary restrictions won’t be able to stop you from eating anything anymore.
However, if you take off the VR headset, you’ll see things like this:
The project plans to make its menus available for people with 3D food printers to use, so anyone who buys their peripherals and has a 3D food printer can participate.
They’re interesting and worthy goals, to be sure. But how convincing will this experience be? No doubt, some people will try it with the mindset of an amusement park ride. Whether or not it can be taken seriously will depend entirely on whether the flavors, textures, and scents are just right. We can say that it’s definitely possible to acquire a taste for desserts made with agar or konjac—both have been staples of pan-Asian desserts and candies for ages, because they’re a lot less bad for you than they could be.
Interestingly, Kokiri Labs cites this scene from Hook as its primary inspiration, where an entire feast comes to life solely by the power of the Lost Boys’ collective imagination.
We love the idea of projects like this that pave the way toward something greater. It’s not so much about whether this individual thing succeeds or fails; it’s about exploring possibilities and finding new ways of thinking to solve our problems.